Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met in Washington Monday with his U.S. counterpart Condoleezza Rice to exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern.
Yang, who is here to attend the Middle East peace conference scheduled to open in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday, said that the Sino-U.S. relationship has generally maintained a positive momentum of stable development. The two sides continue to deepen exchanges, cooperate in various fields and coordinate on major international and regional issues, he said.
The two countries will soon embrace a succession of dialogues, including the 18th meeting of China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), the 3rd China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue, and the 5th Strategic Dialogue.
The Chinese side will work with the U.S. side to make preparations for the events and create favorable conditions for the stable development of their bilateral relationship.
On the Taiwan issue, Yang said the current situation across the Taiwan Straits is highly complicated and sensitive. Defying strong opposition from the international community, Chen Shuibian, the leader of Taiwan, has sped up efforts to pursue "de jure independence" by pushing hard for a so-called referendum to join the United Nations under the name of Taiwan, which poses a serious threat to the stability across the straits, Yang said.
The Chinese foreign minister appreciated that U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration have repeatedly reaffirmed commitments to the one-China policy and the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiques and expressed strong opposition to Taiwan's proposed referendum on UN membership.
Yang stressed that it is in the common interests of both countries to oppose and prevent the referendum on UN membership and maintain peace and stability across the straits.
He urged the U.S. side to take practical steps to fulfill its commitments in the three Joint Communiques and keep its solemn promise to the Chinese side on the Taiwan issue.
The minister also called on the U.S. side not to send misleading signals to the Taiwan authorities by selling advanced weapon systems and to safeguard peace and stability across the Straits and the overall relationship between the two countries.
Rice echoed Yang's assessment of bilateral relationship. She said the United States attaches great importance to dialogues between the two countries in various fields and hopes that such dialogues could lead to substantial results.
Rice reiterated that the the United States adheres to the One-China policy, opposes Taiwan's proposed referendum on UN membership as well as any unilateral change of the status quo.
Yang and Rice also discussed the nuclear issue of Iran and exchanged views on how to proceed with the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.