Russia tilts Taiwan over scrapping of unification body

Russia on Wednesday criticized Taiwan for scrapping an agency dedicated to uniting the island with the Chinese mainland, saying it would not help maintain regional stability.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it viewed "with the utmost seriousness" the Taiwanese move. "We think such decisions will frustrate efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region," it said.

The ministry said that Taiwan 's President Chen Shui-bian had broken his own pledges by doing so and accused him of failing to consult with major Taiwanese political forces and the island's population.

Chen angered Beijing earlier this week by scrapping the reunification agency, saying it was up to the Taiwanese people to choose their island's future status.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday denounced Chen for taking a "dangerous step" toward independence, but gave no signs that China would respond with missile launches or war games aimed at intimidating Taiwan as it has in the past.

Russia, which is battling separatists in its southern province of Chechnya and is a major arms supplier to China, strongly supports Beijing's "One China" policy, opposing any kind of independence for Taiwan, reports the AP.


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