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China Protests US Official Contacts With Taiwan (03/14/02)

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Yang Jiechi on March 12 lodged a strong protest with the US government over the way Washington handled the visit of Taiwanese defense chief Tang Yiau-ming.

Acting under orders, Yang met Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Mark Grossman and made serious representations about separate meetings between Tang and US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Yang stressed China's stance on its firm opposition to any official contacts and military exchanges between the United States and Taiwan.

Despite China's opposition, the United States allowed Tang to visit the country and arranged meetings between Tang and high-level government officials, Yang said. The move has severely violated the "One China" principle and runs counter to the three Sino-US joint communiques.

The Chinese government expresses its strong dissatisfaction and indignation, Yang told Grossman.

The US move will certainly encourage separatist forces in Taiwan and poison both Sino-US relations and relations across the Taiwan Straits, said Yang.

The ambassador noted that the question of Taiwan has always been the core issue of utmost importance and sensitivity in Sino-US relations. To strictly stick to the joint communiques and properly handle the Taiwan issue is the key to healthy and stable Sino-US relations.

China demands the United States recognize the seriousness of its wrong move and correct it in real earnest. It demands Washington immediately stop official contacts and military exchanges with Taiwan, stick strictly to its "One China" principle and the three joint communiques and take concrete actions to honor its commitments to the Chinese government and people, Yang said.

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