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Taiwan Asks US to Clarify Relationship

Taiwan says it is asking the United States to clarify recent comments by a top State Department official who indirectly likened the island to a "landmine" in U.S.-China relations.

State Department officials were not immediately available to comment on the request.

In a televised interview this month with U.S. Public Broadcasting, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was asked where the landmines are in China's relationship with the United States. He replied that Taiwan is "probably the biggest." Mr. Armitage also repeated the U.S. official policy that recognizes Taiwan as part of China's territory, and he mentioned the Taiwan Relations Act that requires the United States to keep military forces in the Pacific to deter an attack.

The interview was broadcast on December 10, but Mr. Armitage's remarks were not published on the State Department's website until Monday.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.