Accessibility links

Cheney Begins Meetings in China - 2004-04-13

Vice President Dick Cheney has arrived in China, his second stop on a week-long Asian tour. Mr. Cheney's meetings with Chinese officials will focus on issues ranging from North Korea to trade and Taiwan.

Mr. Cheney arrived in Beijing from Japan, and headed straight to meetings with Chinese officials. He is to meet Wednesday with President Hu Jintao.

As Mr. Cheney's airplane was landing, Chinese officials were outlining the main items they want on the agenda. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan says China will press Mr. Cheney to stop weapons sales to Taiwan, which China considers a part of its territory.

Mr. Kong says what is most important for China is that the United States honors the principles of past agreements, in which the United States has pledged to honor the so-called one-China principle.

But U.S. officials say Mr. Cheney will focus more on other issues, such as joint efforts to end the North Korean nuclear-weapons crisis, and trade.

Mr. Cheney arrived in Beijing after a four-day stop in Japan, where discussions centered on its participation in the allied forces' role in restoring order and democracy in Iraq.

Militants in Iraq are threatening to kill three Japanese hostages. Mr. Cheney praised Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for not bowing to the captors' demands to withdraw from Iraq.

Among the touchier subjects on the vice president's agenda is human rights. China recently announced it is suspending its human-rights dialogue with the United States.

The Chinese action followed U.S. support for a resolution to condemn Beijing's rights record at a U.N. Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva.

Vice President Cheney is to leave Beijing on Wednesday for Shanghai.