- BEIJING - U.S President George
W. Bush told the Chinese people late Thursday that his country will defend
Taiwan if it is attacked.
- But he also insisted he wants a peaceful resolution to
the issue. Taiwan regards itself as a sovereign state, while Beijing claims
it is a renegade province. In the past Bush has backed reunification of
Taiwan and the mainland.
- Bush's remarks came in a speech televised live from a
Beijing university during the last his last day of his Asian tour.
- Earlier, Bush failed in his attempt to convince China
to stop selling weapon technology to nations he considers to be evil.
- Bush wanted a commitment Beijing would stop selling missile
technology to Iran and North Korea. Along with Iraq, they make up the
countries that belong to what Bush called the "axis of evil."
- Having failed to convince China on the weapons issue,
Bush urged his Chinese counterpart to open his country to greater democracy.
- Bush also used the opportunity to reassure viewers that
liberty does not bring chaos, and he encouraged China to ease up on its
- "China's future is for the Chinese people to decide,
yet no nation is exempt from the demands of human dignity. All the world's
people, including the people of China, should be free to choose how they
live, how they worship and how they work."
- Bush's trip included hearing Chinese President Jiang
Zemin sing O Sole Mio and watch him dance with first lady Laura Bush,
U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and the wife of the U.S.
ambassador to Beijing.
- The People's Liberation Army band played The Eyes of
Texas Are Upon You, Moon River and other tunes.
- Bush visits the Great Wall of China later Friday before
heading home to Washington.
- Written by CBC News Online staff