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Baucus to push China to cut military deployments against Taiwan
Central News Agency
2014-01-30 09:46 AM
Washington, Jan. 28 (CNA) Sen. Max Baucus told his Senate colleagues Tuesday that he would encourage the Chinese authorities to reduce military deployments against Taiwan if he is confirmed as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination, Baucus also said he will make clear that the United States welcomes continued advancement in relations across the Taiwan Strait. "I'll continue to make clear the United States welcomes continued progress in cross-strait relations. I'll also encourage China to reduce military deployments aimed at Taiwan and pursue a peaceful resolution to cross-strait issues," said the veteran Democrat from the ranching state of Montana. President Barack Obama nominated Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on Dec. 20 to become U.S. ambassador to China. Both Republicans and Democrats said they expect Baucus's nomination to be confirmed by the Senate. He will replace Gary Locke, who has been in Beijing since August 2011. During Tuesday's hearing, Baucus said he will make human rights a cornerstone of his agenda if he wins Senate confirmation to take on the high-profile diplomatic mission for the administration. Calling the U.S. relationship with China "one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world," Baucus said he would encourage China to act responsibly as it emerges as a global power. "China must be fully invested in the global rules-based economic system," Baucus added. The 72-year-old envoy nominee described as "unfortunate" China's sudden imposition last November of an Air Defense Identification Zone over a large chunk of the East China Sea and its demand that foreign aircraft report to Beijing when flying over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands. Baucus vowed to raise the issue "to discourage other potential actions that China may take." "Countries in the Asia Pacific have expressed concerns about China's pursuit of its territorial claims and maritime disputes along the periphery, and if confirmed, I will urge China to follow international law on maritime issues and other international standards and stress that all sides must work together to manage and resolve sovereignty disputes without coercion or use of force," he added. Located some 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan in the East China Sea, the Diaoyutai island cluster has been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but is also claimed by Taiwan and China. (By Tony Liao and Sofia Wu)
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