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UPDATED: 08:19, July 09, 2004
Chinese FM holds talks with US national security advisor
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China "strongly" urges the US to understand the "sensitivity" of the Taiwan issue and the "gravity" of the current situation, and treat China's solemn stance seriously, said China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Thursday.

Li said this when he held talks with US Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Condoleezza Rice.

The Taiwan issue has a bearing on China's key interest and is the most crucial factor that affects the smooth development of China-US relations, Li said.

If the two countries really want to expand their constructive and cooperative relations, the Taiwan issue should be handled properly, he said.

Li said no matter how political situations change in the island of Taiwan, the fact that "there's only one China in the world and Taiwan is one part of China" cannot be changed. And without the "one-China" premise, any talks would be impossible.

He said China appreciates that US President George W. Bush has repeated many times that the US government adheres to the "one-China" policy and the three joint communiques and opposes "Taiwan independence."

Li urged the US to stop selling advanced armaments to Taiwan, stop military and official relations with Taiwan, and stop supporting Taiwan's participation in the activities of those international organizations that only sovereign states can join in.

In response to Li's remarks on the Taiwan issue, Rice said President Bush has repeated many times that the US government adheres to the "one-China" policy and the three joint communiques and does not support any activities that lead to "Taiwan independence."

She said the United States does not hope any turbulence occurs in the Taiwan Strait and it also does not tolerate the Taiwan side to make any trouble for US-China relations.

On the overall bilateral relationship, Li said it has maintained a good momentum recently with effective cooperation and coordination in trade and economy, anti-terrorism, nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsular and the reconstruction of Iraq, the minister said. "This has promoted the common interests of the two countries and it also benefits global peace and stability."

He said China is willing to enlarge the cooperation on a basis of equality and mutual benefit, so as to enhance the constructive cooperation of the two countries.

Rice said the US government regards that to maintain strong US-China relations benefits global peace and stability.

President Bush has stated it clearly that the United States takes China as a cooperative partner and is willing to maintain high-level dialogue with China and expand substantive cooperation in fields like trade and economy, non-proliferation and the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, said Rice.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues such as the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula and the reconstruction of Iraq.

Rice arrived in the Chinese capital from Tokyo Thursday noon, kicking off her 24-hour visit to China as a guest of Li Zhaoxing.

During her stay here, Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, Chairman of Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin, and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan will meet her. The Taiwan issue is believed to be priority.

It is reported that China is the second leg of Rice's three-nation Asian tour, which also includes Japan and the Republic of Korea.

On Wednesday, Rice held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro and Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko.

Rice is expected to leave Beijing for Seoul Friday noon and then confer with ROK leaders on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Rice accompanied President Bush on a working visit to China in February 2002.

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