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U.S.-China spat would not turn uncontrollable: former premier

2010/02/05 11:21:31

Washington, Feb. 4 (CNA) Washington and Beijing may have given each other a hard time over a host of disputes, including arms sales to Taiwan, the Google controversy and the Dalai Lama, but such spatswould not escalate to an uncontrollable, a senior adviser toPresident Ma Ying-jeou said here Thursday.

On the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Liu Chao-hsiuan, who is leadinga Taiwan delegation to attend the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast(NPB) Feb. 3-5, said there is good news and bad news. The bad news isthat the United States and China may get tougher with each other overthe arms sales plan, although it still remains to be seen how thatwould unfold, he said.

The good news is that both Beijing and Washington have said theyhave no wish to see tensions mounting to an uncontrollable level andboth sides have at least exercised self-restraint, said Liu, whoserved as Taiwan's premier from May 2008 to September 2009.

Liu, along with ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lin Yi-shih and VIATechnologies and HTC chairwoman Cher Wang, attended the 2010 NPB inWashington, D.C. Thursday morning.

Before and after the NPB, the Taiwan delegation met with U.S.officials, members of Congress and experts from U.S. think tanks toexchange views on issues of mutual concern.

On the controversy over U.S. beef exports to Taiwan, the threedelegates told their U.S. hosts that the beef issue should not bedealt with emotionally, according to Liu.

In addition, they said, the decision by Taiwan's legislature topass an amendment to ban U.S. beef offal and ground beef fromentering Taiwan was in line with the people's will.

"Our explanation of the issue has been acknowledged by some ofour U.S. hosts," Liu told the Central News Agency.

However, it would be reasonable to assume that the beefcontroversy could undermine any plans by the U.S. to grant visa freetreatment to Taiwanese visitors, he said.

(By Zep Hu and Deborah Kuo)