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Taiwan welcomes Bush's defense vow

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan has cautiously welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush's pledge to help the island defend itself against China.

Bush on Wednesday said he would do "whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan from any China attacks but the U.S. still supports the "One China" policy.

Bush's remarks caused confusion as to whether he was signaling a drastic change in a U.S. commitment that had been left ambiguous for two decades.

But Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said Washington's position was in line with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

"We affirm U.S. determination and efforts to defend the peace in the Taiwan Strait and the security in the Asia-Pacific region," ministry spokeswoman Chang Siao-yue said.

"We don't judge U.S. policy based on one sentence," Chang said, referring to Bush's comments that he would do "whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan.

"What concerns us the most is peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Nobody wants war. Everyone wants peace," she said.

Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Bush vows 'whatever it takes' to defend Taiwan
April 26, 2001
Beijing readies for Taiwan shift
April 24, 2001

RELATED SITES:
Taiwan Foreign Ministry
The White House

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