China's co-operation with the United States in its war against terrorism is part of its long-term strategy to change American policy on Taiwan, analysts say. Zhang Mingqing, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said yesterday it remained to be seen if the recent attacks would have any effect on US policy on Taiwan. When asked by reporters about the impact on US arms sales to Taiwan, Mr Zhang said: 'It should still be examined.' Mr Zhang's remarks came after both China and the US categorically denied Beijing had asked for changes in Taiwan policy as China pledged its support for the US anti-terrorism campaign. Speaking after last week's meeting with Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said: 'There was absolutely no suggestion of a quid pro quo.' Despite official government statements, analysts say Beijing's willingness to work with Washington in the fight against terrorism is part of its strategy to try to change US policy on Taiwan. 'Through work on more common issues such as the elimination of terrorism, we hope the US can understand Chinese positions which will decrease the possibility of conflict on Taiwan,' said Niu Jun, Chinese diplomacy expert and professor at the Institute of International Studies in Beijing University. By co-operating on issues of mutually strategic importance, Beijing was seeking to lock the US into a non-confrontational mode by raising the stakes if it challenged China over Taiwan. 'If China and the US find common ground on global and strategic issues, the importance of the Taiwan factor will decline. As a result, this will naturally help the national reunification cause,' Pang Zhongying, professor at the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said. Throughout the terrorism crisis, China has maintained its Taiwan policy of reunification and the threat of military force if Taiwan declares independence. Xinhua reported that during his Washington meetings, Mr Tang continued to stress that 'China stands for peaceful reunification, but cannot sit idly by in the face of attempts to split the island from it'. With US retaliation for the terrorist attacks imminent, China hopes for some gains over Taiwan, particularly on American military commitments. Mr Pang said: 'I think China hopes the US will make some necessary concessions over arms sales to Taiwan and will not say again things like, 'America would defend Taiwan'.' However, experts from all sides agree it is unlikely the US will make any immediate changes in its policy. 'I don't believe there will be any changes in the US policy towards Taiwan from this new China-US co-operation,' David Chen, professor and director of the Institute of American Studies at Taiwan's Tamkang University, said. 'China cannot afford a hostile relationship. US President Bush has made it clear: you are either with us or you are not.' Robert Hathaway, director of Asia programmes at Washington's Wilson Centre for International Scholars, said: 'The Bush administration is very supportive in Taiwan's quest for political space. It will be very reluctant to use Taiwan to curry favours from China. It would be extremely counter-productive for China to use the current situation for gains on Taiwan.'