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China slams US remarks on military
Updated: 2005-02-19 09:10

China has accused the United States of sending a false signal to Taiwan by disclosing a CIA assessment indicating the military balance across the Taiwan Straits is shifting in Beijing's favor.

The comments by China's Foreign Ministry followed statements by CIA Director Porter Goss earlier this week that Beijing's military modernization was "tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait."

"Improved Chinese capabilities threaten U.S. forces in the region," Goss said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan described Goss's comments, made in the CIA's annual assessment of worldwide threats presented Wednesday, as an "irresponsible act."

"The U.S. warning has severely violated the conventions of international relations," Kong said. "The United States has severely interfered with Chinese internal affairs and sent a false signal to the advocates of Taiwan independence."

U.S. relations with Beijing have been relatively good in recent months. The two sides have boosted military exchanges and have been cooperating in efforts to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.

On Friday, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported that Japan's foreign minister and defense chief reportedly flew to Washington to discuss a major revision to the U.S.-Japan security alliance that would, for the first time, identify tensions between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan as a flashpoint in Asia.

Japan traditionally has sought to avoid involvement in the tensions. Tokyo's shift would be a strong demonstration of solidarity with the U.S. position and would signal a more assertive Japanese stance in the region.

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