BEIJING, July 8(Xinhuanet)-- The Taiwan issue was expected to be the core issue during US national security advisor Condoleezza Rice's 24-hour visit to China, followed by the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, local experts said.
Regarded as US President George W. Bush's"confidante" by overseas media, Rice, assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, arrived in Beijing on Thursday on the second legof her Asian tour after a stay in Tokyo.
"By sending Rice to the Asia-Pacific Region, the US government demonstrates its positive attitude in improving relations with countries there," said Yang Chuang, international relations expertfrom the Foreign Affairs University of China.
After the power transfer in Iraq, the United States could shiftits attention to the potential hot spots, such as the Taiwan Strait, Yang said.
The US government doesn't want to see the Taiwan issue become anew embarrassment, but the Taiwan independence forces were still very active.
A series of recent US actions, especially the advanced arms sale to Taiwan, aroused the serious concern and dissatisfaction ofChinese people and cast shadows on the China-US relations.
"The situation across the Taiwan Strait is at the most tense stage since the end of the Cold War," said Fu Mengzi, researcher with the American Studies of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
The two sides will try to find out each other's real intention on the Taiwan issue, and will not make some declaration to the public, Yang predicted.
In addition, the Bush administration also expects this visit togain itself a"diplomatic" competitive edge in the coming US presidential election.
"The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will be certainly discussedby the two sides during Rice's visit," Fu said.
Certain progress had been made in the first three round of six-party talks on the nuclear issue, but it is still hard for the peaceful process to achieve breakthrough, Fu said.
The US side hopes to maintain the platform of dialogue, with the expectation that no big changes will take place before the US election, Fu said, noting that it also explains why the United States was actively promoting bilateral ties with China.