A US-Japanese plan to deal with a possible military conflict across the
Taiwan Straits has caused "grave concern" in Beijing.
Washington and Tokyo will discuss a contingency plan in case of a "crisis"
situation arising in areas around Japan, including the Taiwan Straits, Kyodo
News Agency reported yesterday. The report
quoted several sources familiar with Japan-US military cooperation as saying the
two sides have reached consensus on the necessity for such a contingency plan
and will soon begin discussing the details.
Responding to the reports, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a
news conference yesterday: "Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory
and any arrangement between Japan and the United States should respect and abide
by the one-China principle."
"We have expressed grave concern," he added, calling secessionist forces in
Taiwan "the greatest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits".
He said both Sino-Japanese and Sino-US relations are developing smoothly, and
expressed the hope that the two countries will take more active measures
conducive to the healthy development of their relationship with China.
However, Chinese experts on international studies warn that the strengthening
of the US-Japanese alliance is targeted at China and would further complicate
the nation's security environment.
Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher
with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that the alliance aims to act
as "a policeman" in the Taiwan Straits and play a dominant role in the region.
US urged not to send wrong
China yesterday urged the United States to take
practical steps to contain "Taiwan independence" forces.
"The Chinese government firmly opposes any
official exchange between the United States and the Taiwan authorities,"
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular press briefing.
Liu's comments were in response to reports
about a possible transit stop in the United States by Taiwan leader Chen
Shui-bian on his trip to Nicaragua next week.
"The US government should not allow Chen to
conduct any activity in the United States in any name or under any guise,"
Liu said. Nor should the United States send any wrong signal to "Taiwan
independence" forces, he added.
In Washington, Sean McCormack, the spokesman of
the US Department of State, reportedly said that in terms of transit, the
US "has been consistent with our obligations and our one-China
Wu Xinbo, a professor with the Center of America Studies at Fudan University,
pointed out in a published article that enhanced security ties between
Washington and Tokyo since the mid-1990s have reshaped the East Asian security
environment; and Japan has showed increased assertiveness and willingness to
work militarily with the United States.
He said interaction between Washington and Tokyo on the Taiwan issue has been
increasing, with Tokyo more actively consulting and coordinating with Washington
in its "relations" with the island province from listing Taiwan as a common
strategic objective to working on a joint war plan for the Taiwan Straits.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without referring to the "Taiwan
contingency plan", said yesterday that his country would pursue assertive
foreign policies and strengthen its ties with the United States and Europe in
response to new security threats in the region.
Abe was addressing his first news conference of the year.
(China Daily 01/05/2007 page1)