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Beijing-Washington ties benefit from cross-strait detente: mainland official

WASHINGTON D.C.--The peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait has been positive because it has helped reduce friction between China and the United States over Taiwan to some extent, China's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

Cui Tiankai said at a press conference that issues related to Taiwan have long been a persistent problem between Beijing and Washington and highly sensitive because they involve what Cui described as China's unification and territorial integrity.

There have been conflicts between China and the U.S. in their communications over Taiwan, but the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations in recent years had helped reduce those Taiwan-related flare-ups, Cui said.

The ambassador has never been responsible for China's relations with Taiwan during his diplomatic career, but he said he has always followed cross-strait developments.

The People's Republic of China sees Taiwan as part of its territory while self-governing Taiwan, known formally as the Republic of China, considers itself a sovereign, independent country.

Taiwan has never been under the jurisdiction of the PRC since communist China was established in 1949.

The Chinese ambassador also made reference to the Diaoyutai Islands, a chain of small uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that have been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.

Cui said that when he first time worked at the United Nations in learned about Taiwan's efforts to protect the islands from them.

The Chinese diplomat was born in 1952 and holds a postgraduate diploma from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He is known to be active in political and diplomatic circles in Washington, D.C.

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