State Dept. Displeased With China's Taiwan Bill

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The State Department criticized on Tuesday proposed legislation in China that would permit an attack on Taiwan (search) under certain circumstances.

Renewing the U.S. call for dialogue, spokesman Richard Boucher said, "passage of legislation is not going to help solve the problem" between China (search) and Taiwan.

Under a proposed anti-secession law, unveiled Tuesday in Beijing, China would have the right to attack Taiwan if the island took steps toward independence.

"In our contacts with both sides, we've made clear that we think that this kind of legislation is unhelpful," Boucher said.

If Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits China later this month, as has been reported but not officially announced, it is expected that she would raise the issue with Chinese officials while in Beijing.

Boucher noted that it has been the long-standing U.S. position to oppose any attempt to determine the future of Taiwan (search) by other than peaceful means.

The White House said China should reconsider the proposed legislation.

"We oppose any attempts to determine the future of Taiwan by anything other than peaceful means," he said.

Taiwan denounced the legislation as a "blank check to invade" and announced war games aimed at repelling an attack.

The proposed anti-secession law, read out for the first time before the ceremonial National People's Congress (search), doesn't specify what actions might invite a Chinese attack.