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China-U.S. relations back on track: Chinese spokesman.

BEIJING, April 20 Kyodo

Sino-U.S. relations ''have returned to a track of resumed development'' and ties can continue to improve if Washington handles the Taiwan question ''properly,'' a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

Spokesman Sun Yuxi, speaking to reporters in Beijing two days after the United States failed to pass a resolution critical of China's human rights, struck a moderate tone.

''During the past year, because of reasons known to all, China-U.S. relations suffered big setbacks, but on the whole, thanks to joint efforts made by both sides, relations have returned to a track of resumed development,'' Sun said.

Those reasons included last May's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade which killed three Chinese nationals, and this February's passage of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The proposed law seeks to deepen military-to-military ties between Washington and Taipei but faces an uncertain fate in the U.S. Senate and is opposed by the Clinton administration.

But in November, Beijing and Washington inked a long-awaited bilateral agreement which greatly accelerated China's World Trade Organization (WTO) accession process. The Clinton administration has also lavished attention on China in recent months, sending numerous high-level officials to the Chinese capital for talks.

Sun avoided lambasting the U.S. for its introduction before the Geneva-based U.N. Commission on Human Rights of a resolution condemning China's human rights record, only noting that ''the U.S. resolution ended in failure.''

If Washington refrains from interfering in China's ''internal affairs'' and handles the Taiwan question to Beijing's satisfaction, ''Chinese-U.S. relations can be improved and developed,'' Sun concluded.

Beijing is concerned that U.S.-Taiwan military ties will deepen, despite the fact that Washington announced earlier this week that Taipei would not be permitted to purchase four advanced warships equipped with the Aegis combat system.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Apr 24, 2000
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