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Dunne seeks NZ venue for China-Taiwan talks

Thursday, 3 June 2004

Dunne seeks NZ venue for China-Taiwan talks

United Future leader Peter Dunne today expressed his delight at a Chinese Government suggestion that talks begin between the Beijing Government and Taiwan to settle the differences between the two countries and suggested New Zealand as a suitably neutral venue.

“The Chinese Embassy spokesman in Wellington, Zhang Wei, was quoted in last week’s Taipei Times as saying “the two sides across Taiwan Strait should sit down and discuss how to resolve the problems now,” said Mr Dunne.

“Mr Zhang is the official who objected strongly to my calling him a bully when he rang my office to complain that I had attended the inauguration of Taiwan’s President recently.

“I am pleased he has now abandoned these strong-arm, anti-democratic tactics in favour of sensible diplomatic debate.

“I would point out that New Zealand served as a neutral venue for successful peace talks during the Bougainville conflict and I am confident we can play a similar role again.

"If President Hu Jintao of China and President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan or their representatives did wish to use New Zealand as a neutral venue for the talks Mr Zhang Wei envisages, then I hope the New Zealand Government, as a good friend of both countries, would extend to them all the normal courtesies ,” said Mr Dunne.

ENDS


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