China opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, President Hu

Opposition to "Taiwan independence" and curbing the risky activities of "Taiwan independence" forces are in the common interests of both China and the United States, President Hu Jintao told the visiting US State Secretary Colin Powell.

Beijing hopes Washington will uphold its promises on the Taiwan question and abide by the three China-US joint communiques, Hu was quoted as saying by a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman.

Powell, on the second leg of an Asia-trip which included Tokyo and Seoul, held separated meetings Monday with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing and Premier Wen Jiabao before meeting with Hu.

Describing the current situation across the Taiwan Straits as still very complicated and sensitive, Hu said the root cause for the tension across the Straits lies with attempt to separate Taiwan from China.

China has warned the US side on many occasions that it should be responsible on the Taiwan question.

China is resolutely opposed to US' arms sales to Taiwan and incorporating Taiwan into its planned theatre missile defence system.

China already made solemn representations to the US side on many occasions and demanded the US fully recognize the danger of selling advanced weapons to Taiwan.

Early this month, Hu had a telephone conversation with President George W. Bush, saying that China aims to resolve the Taiwan issue by peaceful means, but will never tolerate "Taiwan independence" and no one may separate Taiwan from China.

The assertion came as Taiwan considers a purchase of US$18 billion worth of US missiles and other weapons.

At Monday's meeting, Hu said the "Taiwan independence" forces' separatist activities are the greatest threat to peace and stability in the region.

During the meetings with Chinese leaders, Powell said the US side will continue to stick to the one-China policy and the three joint communiques and does not support any effort aimed at "Taiwan independence." His comments were appreciated by the Chinese side.

Powell praised the development of US-Chinese relations in the past four years, saying the US Government values highly the bilateral relations which have a direct influence on the stability of Asia and the world at large.

Premier Wen echoed Powell's remarks on the positive trend of Sino-US ties.

On economic relations, Wen expressed appreciation to the US' decision to reject an investigation on the exchange rate of the Renminbi.

The Office of the US Trade Representative in a statement released on September 9 said the administration has rejected a petition filed by several labour unions requesting the United States investigate China's currency rate policy under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.

The statement said China is taking action to liberalize capital flow, restructure banks, and develop a currency derivatives market.

"The Administration made it clear that accepting such a petition would be a retreat into economic isolationism. That is a path we would not take then, and it is a path we will not take today," said the statement.

Wen Monday reiterated that China will continue to implement its commitments to the World Trade Organization and strictly protect intellectual property rights.

Meanwhile, Wen added that China also hopes the US side will adopt positive steps on a series of issues of bilateral trade co-operation, such as the export control.

Powell and Chinese leaders also exchanged views on Iraq and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

"What we agreed on today is the need for the six-party framework to continue," Powell told a news conference after meeting the Chinese leaders.

Powell praised China's "actively involved" efforts in pushing the talks.

"I hope that as a result of our conversations, both of us will energize the other members of the six-party framework to resolve the outstanding issues that keep us from setting a date for a meeting," he said.

Foreign minister Li Zhaoxing Monday also called the US side to take flexible and pragmatic stance on the issue.

People's Daily Online ---