Friday, February 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA, China play down differences

Beijing, February 21
China and the USA today downplayed their differences on the Taiwan issue even as President George W. Bush asked Beijing to help stop proliferation of missiles and other deadly technologies.

“My government hopes China will strongly oppose the proliferation of missiles and other deadly technologies”, Mr Bush said at a joint press conference with Chinese President Jiang Zemin after their closed-door meeting.

Touching on Taiwan, he stressed the need for a “peaceful settlement” to the issue and said the USA would adhere to the “one China” policy.

Mr Jiang said, “To properly handle the Taiwan question is vital to the stability and growth of the China-US relations.

“In my meeting with President Bush, I have elaborated on the Chinese Government’s basic position of peaceful reunification and the ‘one country, two systems’ for the solution of the Taiwan question...”.

Mr Bush’s visit to China on the last leg of his Asian tour comes exactly 30 years to the day after the landmark visit of former President Richard Nixon.

Describing sino-US dialogue as “candid”, Mr Jiang said his discussions with Mr Bush achieved “positive” results on bilateral and international issues of mutual concern.

He tried to side-step questions on the thorny issue of religious freedom at the press conference but when persisted he said everyone should abide by China’s laws and faith in a religion was not going to exempt them from legal action.

Mr Jiang urged the USA today to be patient in the war on terrorism and stressed the need for peace in Iraq. Agencies


USA releases new hostage policy

Washington, February 21
The USA has released a new policy on the taking of American hostages overseas and said it would make no concessions to individuals or groups holding its citizens hostage.

The US Government released the new policy yesterday.

“Washington would examine every kidnapping to decide what action should be taken to secure a release,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said while enunciating the new government policy on the issue.

“The US Government will use ‘every appropriate resource’ to gain the safe return of American citizens who are held hostage.”

He said the USA would not negotiate with hostage-takers and not offer ransom or other concessions. It would also dissuade private companies from doing so.

The policy stems from a study initiated in the Clinton Administration that was finalised in recent months before Pakistani and American officials began collaborating in the search for Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter abducted in Karachi.

Aware of the hostage threat and public security shortcomings in many parts of the world, the USA had developed enhanced physical and personal security programmes for US personnel and established cooperative arrangements with the US private sector, Mr Boucher said.

He made it clear that the USA would not support requests that host governments violate their own laws or abdicate their normal enforcement responsibilities. UNI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |