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World: Taiwan Rejects Chinese Calls For Reunification

Taipei/Beijing, 1 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Taiwan today rejected Chinese calls for reunification in the wake of Hong Kong's return to Beijing's control.

Taiwanese government spokesman Lee Ta-wei said in Taipei that Taiwan will never accept the one country, two systems formula under which Hong Kong returned to China.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin called repeatedly today for Taiwan to come back under Beijing's rule. At a rally in Beijing celebrating Hong Kong's return, Jiang said that, in his words, the complete reunification of China is now in sight.

Taiwan was separated from the mainland in 1949 when Chinese nationalists fled there following defeat by the Communists.

Meanwhile, Britain and the U.S. today said they would continue to keep close ties with Hong Kong. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Britain would not turn its back on Hong Kong. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Washington is committed to protecting the rights of Hong Kong's people.