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China Says US Encourages Taiwan Independence - 2004-05-31

China is blaming the United States for damaging relations between Beijing and Taiwan by encouraging the island's aspirations for independence. A commentary issued today by the official Xinhua news agency says Taiwan has continued on the road toward independence because of support by the United States.

The commentary says that if the U.S. administration wants peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, it should not sell advanced weapons to Taiwan. According to the commentary, because of the U.S. stance, China cannot renounce the use of force to regain control of the island.

In a separate report, Xinhua notes that President Bush had spoken to Chinese President Hu Jintao Sunday and repeated Washington's commitment to a "one China" policy, which recognizes Beijing as the only legitimate Chinese government.

The comments come after the U.S. Defense Department released a report Friday saying China increased its military buildup last year apparently aimed at preventing Taiwan from achieving independence.

The comments also follow a brief stop in the United States by Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu, who was on her way to visit some of the island's diplomatic allies in Central America.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.