China Urges US to Avoid Wrong Signals to Taiwan

China has reiterated its call to the United States to avoid sending "wrong signals" to Taiwan that suggest it supports the island's independence.

China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Tuesday that Taiwan was the most important issue facing Sino-U.S. relations.

Last week Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian infuriated China after announcing his decision to stop funding the National Unification Council and to scrap guidelines for reunification with China.

Taiwan's government later said the announcement was misinterpreted, and that the decision does not mean the council has been abolished.

The United States requested clarification on the issue. China, meanwhile, reacted angrily to Taiwan, warning that Mr. Chen's decision could bring disaster to the island.

The United States recognizes Taiwan as part of China, but has promised to help Taiwan defend itself against attack by mainland China.

Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province, and has threatened to use force if the island formally declares independence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters