Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Taiwan warns Chinese missiles threaten Australia, United States & Other Countries

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian warned on Tuesday that arch-rival China's growing missile build-up not only posed a threat to his democratic island, but also endangered the other countries including Australia. Mr Chen said more than Chinese 700 missiles are targeting Taiwan, but that they can also target Australia, New Zealand, the United States, India and Russia.
"The expansion of China's military ambition and capabilities constitutes a direct threat to democratic Taiwan and, more importantly, a potential danger to the security and peace of the Asia-Pacific region, and even of the world as a whole," Mr Chen told Japan's Foreign Correspondents' Club via a video news conference. "What is most worrisome for the international community is that China has been continuously upgrading the quality and quantity of its strategic guided-missile unit, allowing it to be capable of nuclear deterrence and counter-attack," Mr Chen said. With global attention is on six-party talks in Beijing aimed at ending the crisis over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Mr Chen said the international community would be exercising double standards if it continued to ignore China's military threat. Recent remarks by a Chinese general that China could use nuclear arms against the United States in a war over Taiwan exposes the danger of a possible misjudgment by the Chinese military, the Taiwanese President said. "China is not a normal country. It is a country that is hostile towards Taiwan with the intention of invading and taking over Taiwan," he added. Beijing considers Taiwan, split politically from the mainland since 1949, part of Chinese territory and has vowed to bring the it back to the fold, by force if necessary. In March, China passed an anti-secession law authorising the use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan if the democratically ruled island pushed for formal independence. Mr Chen said he hopes to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in South Korea in November.