Taiwan not worried about Obama`s China visit: Govt

Last Updated: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 14:13

Taipei: Taiwan`s government is not concerned about US President Barack Obama`s first visit to China, given the easing in tensions with Beijing, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
A ministry group was monitoring Obama`s trip, during which the issue of Taiwan could be raised by his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

"The group will keep a close eye on Obama`s China visit," Foreign Ministry spokesman Henry Chen said. "However, we do not expect any surprise."

Relations between Taipei and its long-time rival Beijing have improved markedly since President Ma Ying-jeou came to power last year, pledging to boost trade links and allow more Chinese tourists to visit the island.

"The eased tensions are in the interest of Taiwan, China and the United States," Chen said.

The de facto US envoy to Taiwan, William Stanton, said last month that Taiwan had no need to be concerned about Obama`s visit.

"US policy under the Obama administration toward Taiwan has not changed... And I don`t think we can expect any surprises in that regard," said Stanton, director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Washington shifted diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979 but has remained a leading arms supplier to the island.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still considers the island a part of its territory and has vowed to get it back, by force if necessary.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 14:13

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