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Taipei's provocative actions condemned
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-30 00:55

Beijing Wednesday strongly condemned Taipei's "war-provoking actions" after Taiwanese "premier" Yu Shyi-kun called for a "balance of terror" across the Straits to justify its planned multi-billion-US dollar purchase of American weapons.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said the provocative move has exposed the island's attempt to pursue a permanent split from the Chinese motherland through a military buildup.

Yu claimed on Saturday the weapons are needed to maintain a balance of power with the mainland while threatening to hit Shanghai with missiles in the event of a cross-Straits military clash.

"His remarks are a serious provocation and clamouring for war," Li Weiyi, spokesman with the Taiwan Affairs Office, told a regularly-held news conference.

"This fully demonstrates the nature of the Taiwan authorities to push for Taiwan independence under the disguise of their false attitude towards peace."

The island is planning to buy 610.8 billion new Taiwanese dollars (US$18.2 billion) worth of US-manufactured anti-missile systems, planes and submarines.

If approved by the "parliament," the arms deal -- first offered by US President George W. Bush in 2001 -- would be Taiwan's biggest in a decade.

Thousands of protesters marched through Taipei on Saturday, urging the government to scrap the arms package which they complained could start a wasteful arms race.

Li said the strong objections suggested Taiwan's arms build-up endangers the fundamental interests of the Taiwanese people and flies against their will.

He accused Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian of "obstinately carrying out separatist activities" to create tensions and damage peace in the Taiwan Straits.

Chen, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has been advocating a separatist timetable to draft a new "constitution" through a referendum in 2006 and enact the document in 2008.

Beijing views the plan as tantamount to a formal declaration of independence, which may trigger the use of non-peaceful means.

Li warned that it will be "illegal and not valid" for Taiwan to take any unilateral moves to change the island's status as part of China in any form, including the so-called referendum.

"For the Chinese people, there is nothing more important and more sacred than safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity," the spokesman said.

"Any person, any force using whatever methods to attempt to seek Taiwan independence and make enemies with 1.3 billion Chinese people is doomed to failure."

At the news conference, Li was also asked to comment on the speech of Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo, who told the United Nations General Assembly last week that the push towards independence by certain groups in Taiwan is the most dangerous.

"This shows the international community has reached a consensus to oppose Taiwan independence and stick to the one-China principle," he said.

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