US motion on ties with Taiwan irks China

Agence France Presse

Beijing, February 17:

China today angrily condemned a proposed US congressional resolution to normalise relations with Taiwan and demanded the Bush administration block the bill.

“This is a gross intereference in China’s internal affairs and sends a mistaken signal to Taiwan independence forces,” foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said. “The Chinese side expresses it strong dissatisfaction and staunch opposition to this. “We demand that the US side be fully aware of the severe danger of this motion, seriously honour its commitments to the ‘one China’ policy and take concrete actions to prevent the resolution in the US Congress from passing.”

China has threatened to use military force if Taiwan ever formally declares independence and has loudly urged the United States to prevent the island from splitting further from the mainland.

While citing the US administration’s commitment to the “one China” policy, Kong also called on Congress to “do more things that are beneficial to Sino-US ties and the maintenance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.”

The bipartisan resolution, introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives by Republican Tom Tancredo, said the US should scrap its “one China” policy in which Washington recognises that Taiwan is part of China. US began to recognise Taiwan as part of China in 1979 during the administration of President Carter although under US law it is obliged to offer the island a means of self-defence if its security is threatened.“Our current ‘one China’ policy is a fiction,” Tancredo said. “Taiwan is a free, sovereign and independent country that elects its own leaders. It is not, nor has it ever been a local government of communist China — and everyone knows that.” He said the time had come “to scrap this intellectually dishonest and antiquated policy in favour of a little consistency.”