Taiwan’s Chen Seen in Diplomatic Victory Over China – Reuters

From Reuters via the New York Times (link):

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian returns home from a Latin American visit on Friday after surprise stops in Libya and Indonesia that gave him a modest diplomatic victory over China but drew words of caution from the United States.

As Chen criss-crossed the globe, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick told a congressional hearing this week that Taiwan “will keeping hitting into a wall” if it kept testing the “one China” policy under which Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

“We want to be supportive of Taiwan while we’re not encouraging those that try to move toward independence,” said the State Department’s number two diplomat who is charge of a new U.S. strategic dialogue with China.

“Because let me be very clear: independence means war,” said Zoellick, who defended the administration against criticism by U.S. lawmakers for treating Chen in a “disgraceful” way by offering to let his plane refuel in remote Alaska or Hawaii while on his way to and from Latin America instead of stopping over in New York which he had previously done.

See also “China makes “seriously representations” to Indonesia on Chen’s stopover” from the People’s Daily (link); “Chen: Taiwan-U.S. ties solid” from China Post (link); and “The Bush Administration Snubs Taiwan” from Fox News (link). Zoellick’s testimony can be viewed on a webcast here.


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