China Steps Up Pressure on Taiwan

China Steps Up Pressure on Taiwan
March 08, 2005 12:23 PM EST

BEIJING - China unveiled a law Tuesday authorizing an attack if Taiwan moves toward formal independence, increasing pressure on the self-ruled island while warning other countries not to interfere. Taiwan denounced the legislation as a "blank check to invade" and announced war games aimed at repelling an attack.

The proposed anti-secession law, read out for the first time before the ceremonial National People's Congress, doesn't specify what actions might invite a Chinese attack.

"If possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ nonpeaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wang Zhaoguo, deputy chairman of the congress' Standing Committee, told the nearly 3,000 members gathered in the Great Hall of the People.

Beijing claims Taiwan, which split from China since 1949, as part of its territory. The communist mainland repeatedly has threatened to invade if Taiwan tries to make its independence permanent, and the new law doesn't impose any new conditions or make new threats. But it lays out for the first time legal requirements for military action.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island's China policy, said the law gives China's military "a blank check to invade Taiwan" and "exposed the Chinese communists' attempt to use force to annex Taiwan and to be a regional power."

The island's vice president, Annette Lu, accused Beijing of violating international norms for peacefully resolving disputes, as Taipei prepared for an invasion.

Large-scale military exercises would be held from mid-April to August, with troops practicing knocking down Chinese missiles and fighting communist commandos, said Taiwan's Defense Ministry spokesman Liu Chih-chien.

Mainland lawmakers immediately expressed support for the anti-secession measure, which is sure to be passed when they vote March 14. The congress routinely approves all legislation already decided by Communist Party leaders.

"We must join hands and absolutely not allow Taiwan to separate from China," said Chang Houchun, a businessman and member of congress from southern China's Guangdong province.

Chinese officials say the law was prompted in part by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's plans for a referendum on a new constitution for the island that Beijing worries might include a declaration of independence.

Chen says the vote would be aimed at building a better political system, not at formalizing Taiwan's de facto independence.

Chinese leaders have appealed in recent months for Taiwan to return to talks on unification. But they insist that Taiwanese leaders first declare that the two sides are "one China" - a condition that Chen has rejected.

In Taipei, Chen Chin-jun, a legislative leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said the island wants peace and trade with China.

However, he said, "We will not accept any resolution to allow the Chinese Communists to unilaterally decide Taiwan's future, and it will only antagonize the Taiwanese."

China and Taiwan have no official ties and most direct travel and shipping between the two sides is banned. But Taiwanese companies have invested more than $100 billion in the mainland and there is a thriving indirect trade.

In an apparent attempt to calm Taiwanese public anxiety, Wang said the law promises that Chinese military forces would try to avoid harming Taiwanese civilians. He said the rights of Taiwanese on China's mainland also would be protected.

Until recently, China's military was thought to be incapable of carrying out an invasion across the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait. But Beijing has spent billions of dollars buying Russian-made submarines, destroyers and other high-tech weapons to extend the reach of the 2.5 million-member People's Liberation Army.

The United States has appealed to both sides to settle Taiwan's status peacefully, with no unilateral changes by either side. Washington is Taiwan's main arms supplier and could be drawn into any conflict.

The proposed law says Beijing regards Taiwan's future as an internal Chinese matter, rejecting "any interference by outside forces."
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
To the best of my knowledge Tiawan is the biggest investor in China.
They couldn't afford to declare 'Independance'.
China is very sensative on it's territory, what it considers its old traditional borders, both will fight if it came to the final act.
What the world is watching is a brace of old men having a shouting match outside the pub cum closing time. Go on hit me, nah you hit me first.
Lots of gob but no overt action.
I hope you are right Jon. It is certainly what the argument has been like, up until recently. Now those old men have a whole lot of well armed young men standing behind them in the shadows, though.


Kit Reviewer
I too hope you're right Johnwilly, there are many fine knocking-shops on Formosa, none of which deserve coming under the Commie yoke !

Plus all the barbers - those that have been there will know exactly what I mean. :lol:
Cutaway said:
I too hope you're right Johnwilly, there are many fine knocking-shops on Formosa, none of which deserve coming under the Commie yoke !

Plus all the barbers - those that have been there will know exactly what I mean. :lol:
8O :? Cuts, whilst not always understanding everything you write you do worry me with your allusions! :wink:

My take on the situation is that China will not allow any loss of 'face' so will continue to rattle the sabre over Taiwan. The 'Kingdom' basis of Chinese thought does not allow for the loss of people or territory, but it is also part of the Chinese culture to think in generations, both predecessors and the generations to come, thus Taiwan can exist outside of the control of Beijing, so long as the Chinese continue to assert that it is part of China and will one day be brought back into the fold, either by choice or domination.

I'm actually more interested in the fact that there has been a massive increase in the number of female mainland Chinese who are moving to Taiwan. Given that China will curb the movements of its population at will, there is more to this than meets the eye. Thanks to the 'one child' policy of the PRC (and the associated 'culling' of female babies) there are more single men than women in mainland China, thus the movement of single females OUT of the country is odd. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a PRC policy to 'breed-out' the Taiwanese desire for independence over the next few generations - the old "feeding of ideology with the mother's milk" concept...
Eh bye gum ya right luv, it's all the fault of thems wimmin.
Corrupting young lads from day one. Be a good boy or no more suck at tit then picking them up by the personal bits and show big.
Yep ya got it right what a plesure to speak with such a switched on vision of perfection.

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