• Short Summary

    In Peking, a champagne toast marked a new era in the relationship between two of the worlds biggest powers.

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    In Peking, a champagne toast marked a new era in the relationship between two of the worlds biggest powers. The United States and China celebrated the establishment of diplomatic ties between their countries on Monday (1 January) and hailed it as the start of a new era in Sino-American relations. But in Taiwan, there were harsh words from the President, Chiang Ching-Kuo, as diplomatic relations with the United States ended after three decades. He rejected the idea of any compromise with the Peking government and said Taiwan would stand alone -- without support from the United States.

    SYNOPSIS: The United States Liaison office in Peking symbolises the new era in relations between China and the United States. The citizens of Peking read the news of the historic occasion from wallposters displayed around the city. The Chinese leadership has explained the move as a way to enhance understanding and friendship between the people of the United States and China. The streets of Peking were decorated for festivities celebrating the New Year -- a year when, according to some sources, the establishment of Sino-American relations may decisively tilt the world balance of power.

    On Monday, the Head of the United States Liaison Office, Mr Leonard Woodcock, greeted the Chinese delegation led by Chinese Vice-Premier, Deng Xiaoping. Mr Woodcock, who conducted the delicate negotiations leading to the ceremony, called for the establishment of friendship and beneficial cooperation between the two powers.

    Mr Deng talked about his forth-coming visit to the United States, saying he hoped his contact with the leaders and people of the United States would help the cause of understanding. And then the two men toasted the new agreement.

    In Taipei, the United States Embassy is now a nameless building as both sides decide what kind of organisation will be set up to continue cultural and trade links.

    The Stars and Stripes flag was lowered for the last time on New Year's Eve (31 December).

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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