Taiwan, China should resolve disputes peacefully: U.S.
ROC Central News Agency
Washington, May 20 (CNA) The U.S. Department of State reaffirmed Friday that the United States has maintained a consistent policy toward China and that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should resolve their disputes in a peaceful manner.
The remarks came after China's People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde said during his recent U.S. visit that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had assured him in a meeting that Washington supports Beijing's "One China" policy, which upholds that there is only one China in the world and that Taiwan is part of China.
Responding to Taiwanese reporters' inquiry about whether there is any change in the U.S. stance or policy toward cross-strait relations, the State Department issued a note of clarification that appeared to contradict Chen's version of what he was told by Clinton about U.S. policy toward Taiwan.
The statement said Washington's China policy, based on the three U.S.-China joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, has not changed.
The secretary of state reiterated this policy Wednesday in her meeting with General Chen, the statement said.
"The United States welcome the recent improvement in cross-strait relations, opposes any unilateral actions by either side to alter the status quo, and believes that cross-strait issues should be resolved peacefully in a manner acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," the statement added.
Commenting on the controversy, Jason Yuan, Taiwan's representative to the United States, said Friday that Chen's statement represents Beijing's stance, not the U.S. administration's.
"No matter what Chen said, what matters is the U.S. government has not danced to his beat," Yuan said.
Yuan had just returned from a visit to New York to greet Vice President Vincent Siew, who made a transit stop in the city on his way back to Taiwan after a Latin American tour which took him to Paraguay and Panama.
In New York, Yuan said, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt, the top U.S. liaison officer with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, had assured Siew that there has been no change in the U.S. policy toward Taiwan and cross-strait relations.
Citing unidentified U.S. officials, Yuan said Chen's statement was not based on his true memory of Clinton's remarks but rather on his personal expectations. (By Zep Hu and Sofia Wu) enditem/cs
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