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TIME Diplomatic correspondent Dean Fischer says the Chinese are already incensed over efforts by Gingrich and other high-profile Republicans to recognize Taiwan as a free country -- a blunt assault on the fundamental "one China" policy that dates from President Nixon's historic 1972 trip to that country, and recognizes the People's Republic of China as the sole representative of the Chinese people. Making matters worse, Fischer says, was President Clinton's decision to grant a visa in May for a private visit by Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, which "provoked a diplomatic crisis between the two countries that Harry Wu's detention only intensified." Sectretary of State Warren Christopher told Fischer that the latest message from China -- a demand that Washington reaffirm the Nixon policy and ban further official Taiwanese visits -- was a message of possible reconciliation.