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ROC Central News Agency

2005-08-11 14:47:29

    Washington, Aug. 10 (CNA) The U.S. government would never link the issue of which cities Taiwan's president can transit through in the United States to movement on the island's planned arms procurement from the United States, a State Department official said Wednesday.

    State Department deputy spokesman J. Adam Ereli made the remarks at a press briefing on updated U.S. foreign policy.

    In response to a question on whether the United States might tie the issue of where President Chen Shui-bian can make transit stops in the United States to progress on the island's planned arms purchase, Ereli told the reporter that "you're mixing apples and oranges" by linking the two issues.

    The spokesman noted that the U.S. government has consistently addressed such transit applications in terms of the safety, comfort and convenience of the traveler. "There shouldn't be anything political read into" such arrangements, he said, adding that "it's a technical criteria that we follow."

    President Chen is scheduled to make stopovers in the United States en route to and from Central America and the Caribbean for a diplomatic tour in September. Relevant Taiwan and U.S. authorities are discussing the transit arrangements.

    Meanwhile, as China and Russia are set to stage their biggest-ever joint military exercises later this month, Ereli was asked whether the Bush administration is concerned about the event's implications for Taiwan's security.

    Ereli responded by saying that the Chinese-Russian military exercises are matters between China and Russia. "You know, our actions and policies are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act and the three communiques (between the United States and China," he added.

(By Oliver Lin and Sofia Wu)



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