China asks Bush why he called Taiwan a countrygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread
China asks Bush why he called Taiwan a country Sat Apr 6, 2:17 AM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has asked the United States for an explanation on why U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) referred to Taiwan as a country during a speech last week in Washington, a Foreign Ministry official said on Saturday.
Reports in Taiwanese newspapers on Friday said Bush called the island the "Republic of Taiwan" and a "country" in an apparent slip of the tongue during a speech to diplomats and business executives on Thursday.
Calling Taiwan a country would threaten to compromise a major pillar of Sino-U.S. relations, which were set up in 1979 largely based on a U.S. nod to the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is a part of China.
"The Chinese side already asked the American side to give clarification on this," said a foreign ministry official reached by telephone.
Beijing views Taiwan -- which calls itself the Republic of China -- as a renegade province to be reunited eventually, by force if necessary.
Taiwan's United Daily News quoted a U.S. official as saying Bush's labelling Taiwan as a republic was a "slip of the tongue" and indicated no shift in U.S. policy.
Bush was referring to the entry late last year and this year of China and Taiwan, respectively, into the World Trade Organisation, reports said.
The English-language Taipei Times newspaper quoted Bush as saying it was "important to recognise and to welcome both countries, both the Republic of Taiwan, and of course China, into the World Trade Organisation".
The Taiwan issue has often caused rough patches in bilateral ties and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have angered Beijing.
Last month an editorial in the official China Daily newspaper said Beijing felt "betrayed" after a U.S. decision to allow Taiwanese defence minister Tang Yiau-ming into the United States for talks with defence officials and warned of a setback in Sino-U.S. ties.
But foreign ministry officials later confirmed both sides were moving ahead with plans for a scheduled visit by Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao to the United States in April.
-- (hee hee @ what. a moron), April 06, 2002
Somebody better put a cork in that idiot's hole before he gets us all killed.
-- (Dumbya@the.dumbshit), April 06, 2002.
Bwahahaha, take your own advice, buffoon-breath.
-- (yuk yuk @ assinine.asswipe), April 06, 2002.
Has the PRC ever considered offering its "citizens" in Taiwan a referendum such as the US has done with the Puerto Ricans? Something tells me that the Taiwanese people would vote to remain independent (unlike the PRs who have chosen to remain a "territory" of the US. They chose not to become a state which was an option)
Taiwan likes to tweak the PRC by calling itself the "Republic of China". That is equally churlish as the PRC claiming hegemony over Taiwan.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 08, 2002.