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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China says Taiwan war-mongering

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China says Taiwan war-mongering: "China says Taiwan war-mongering
China has stepped up its war of words with Taiwan, accusing the island's premier of 'clamouring for war'.
A senior Chinese official said recent comments about missiles by Premier Yu Shyi-kun were 'a serious provocation'.
Mr Yu said last week the island needed to complete a big US arms purchase, and also suggested it should have offensive missiles to deter Chinese attack.
The Chinese official said the comments proved Taiwan's government wanted independence.
China views Taiwan as part of its territory, and has threatened to invade if the island ever declared independence.
'Any person, any force using whatever methods to attempt to seek Taiwan independence and make enemies with 1.3bn Chinese people is doomed to failure,' said Li Weiyi, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office.
Arms race
The latest row was prompted by a speech Mr Yu made last week, in which he appeared to argue that Taiwan should be allowed to acquire offensive weapons.
He said Taiwan could deter Chinese attack if the two sides were locked in a 'balance of terror', similar to that which existed between the US and former USSR.
'If you fire 100 missiles at me, I should also be able to fire 100 missiles at you, or at least 50. If you attack Taipei and Kaohsiung, I should at least be able to strike Shanghai,' Mr Yu told supporters.
Taiwan's military capability is at present almost entirely defensive.
But the island's leaders are increasingly worried by China's positioning of several hundred missiles across the Taiwan Strait. A recent Pentagon report said some of Taiwan's political and military leaders had suggested acquiring weapons capable of striking against China as a c"


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