US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States opposed Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations at a year-end press conference last Friday, or December 22. She called the referendum a "provocative policy" that "unnecessarily raises tensions in Taiwan Strait and it promises no real benefits" for the people of Taiwan on the international stage.
These remarks of hers are the latest statement made by a US official of the highest rank so far in recent months on Taiwan's U.N.bid, and they reflect in a very emphatic way the high attention the US side has paid to the situation in Taiwan strait and pose another warning to "independence forces" in Taiwan Island.
On December 22, or last Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed its appreciation to the American side for what it has voiced on the Taiwan question.
Taiwan issue has all along the core issue in Sino-U.S. relationship, as it involves the fundamental national interests of China and its people. In recent years, the stances and viewpoints of both sides on the issue have become increasingly closer or almost identical, and this constitutes an important guarantee for the steady growth of bilateral ties.
In outgoing 2007, Sino-US relations have remained stable and steady on the whole and scored new, fresh advances in varied fields to extend the sound situation over the last few years. This situation has been attained in the wake of promoting communication and enhancing mutual understanding and on the basis of reaching continuous consensuses and boosting cooperation of both parties on vital global subjects.
The governments of China and the U.S. have maintained close dialogues and communications at all levels, and meetings and telephone conversations of leaders of both nations and dialogue channels of the two nations' executive government departments have kept unblocked. In the specific realms, bilateral economic and trade ties go on developing, and the mutual economic interdependence of both nations has turned even greater.
The just-concluded third China-US strategic economic dialogues (SED), which was crowned with success, has reached a lot of consensuses and inked numerous cooperation agreements. In the field of military security, bilateral contact and cooperation continue to press ahead with a frequent exchange of personnel from the two nations.
During his two-day visit to China in late October, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had wide-ranging contact and dialogues with leading personnel from the Chinese side and reached consensuses on boosting military exchanges and mutual trust of the two armed forces and particularly on the establishment of a direct military hotline between the Chinese Ministry of National Defense in Beijing and Pentagon in Washington D.C.
Moreover, bilateral cooperation has deepened on a range of global subjects for prompt, urgent solution. China continues to play a vital but unique role on the issue of the Korean Peninsula Nuclear issue and, on the issue regarding Sudan, China has won positive appraisal from the U.S. side. Furthermore, a sound situation favorable for Sino-U.S. cooperation has retained in such vital global topics as the war on terror and efforts for energy security and against the nuclear proliferation and global climate warming as well as in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the spheres of education, culture, science and culture.
Despite all these achievements so far scored, Sino-US relations, however, have been no plain sailing in the past year with some prevalent frictions and divergences. In the realm of economic and trade ties, the most protruding issue this year constitutes the issue relating to China's "product safety," apart from the revaluation of Renminbi exchange rate, intellectual property and China's huge trade surplus that had been underlined by the US side for years.
On Taiwan issue, the Bush Administration was quite tough with The Chen Shui-bian regime in wording, and President George W. Bush himself cautioned Taiwan against going ahead with a referendum that China regards as provocative, saying that the U.S. opposed any move toward its UN bid. The US policy toward Taiwan, nevertheless, remains virtually unchanged and its arms sale to Taiwan also has not been suspended.
In the United States., some people still take China as the principal threat, and there are also some figures who capitalize on these issues relating to Tibet and human rights to provoke disputes and meddle in its internal affairs. In view of these great, immense differences, China and the U.S. are still needed to further enhance their mutual trust and explore common interests, and to strive to live in peace and harmony and seek "win-win" outcome as cooperation partners in the current volatile international situation, so as to contribute more to the world peace and development together.
By Wang Wenfeng, an associate researcher of the American Studies Institute affiliated to the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, and translated by People's Daily Online