Bush Calls Fuse Delivery a Mistake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush, addressing an embarrassing flap that has strained U.S.-China relations, told Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday that the shipment of nuclear missile fuses to Taiwan was a mistake.

The president's National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, said the matter came up when Bush called Hu.

"It came up very briefly," Hadley told reporters. "Basically, the president indicated that a mistake had been made. There was very little discussion about it."

The U.S. military's mistaken delivery to Taiwan of electrical fuses for an intercontinental ballistic missile has raised concerns over U.S. - China ties. It has also triggered a broad investigation into the security of Pentagon weapons.

China on Wednesday strongly protested the mistaken delivery.

In a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's Website, Spokesman Qin Gang said China sent a protest to Washington expressing "strong displeasure."

"We demand the U.S. side thoroughly investigate this matter, and report to China in a timely matter the details of the situation and eliminate the negative effects and disastrous consequences created by this incident," Qin said.

Bush's conversation with Hu also covered Tibet, North Korea and Mynanmar.

"It was a serious conversation on really all of these issues," Hadley said.

Bush told Hu he was concerned about the crackdown in Tibet, joining a growing chorus of international protests about Beijing's tough tactics. Bush encouraged Hu to engage in "substantive dialogue" with representatives of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet.


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