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FM: China appreciates Powell's comments on Taiwan(02/12/04)

    BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Thursday expressed China's appreciation for US Secretary of State Colin Powell's comments that the United States saw no need for Taiwan's "referendum" in the near future.

    Zhang Qiyue said at a regular press conference that China has recently seen the United States make such comments repeatedly, andChina appreciates them.

    Addressing a hearing at the International Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives, Powell said on Wednesday that Washington does not see the need for Taiwan to hold any "referendum."

    "We don't really see a need for these referenda," Powell said. "We made it clear to them ... that we do not want to see these actions lead in any way to a change in the situation."

    Zhang said that during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's US trip last year, President George W. Bush made an explicit statement to him that the United States would adhere to the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques, oppose Taiwan Independence, and oppose any unilateral moves that seek to alter the status-quo of Taiwan.

    China has also stressed time and again that the Taiwan issue ismost important and most sensitive among the Sino-US relations, said the spokeswoman, and China hopes the US side will abide by the three joint communiques and deal with the problem properly.

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