Mon, Aug 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Yu Shyi-kun says China wants a war

NATIONAL INTERESTS Speaking to a group in New York, the premier said it was an open secret that China wants to push the US out of the Asia-Pacific

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AP

China is secretly mapping underwater terrain in the Pacific in preparation for an eventual conflict with the US there, reports yesterday quoted Premier Yu Shyi-kun as saying.

Chinese surveillance ships sailed close to Japanese waters 14 times last year and seven times this year, and have also sailed "numerous times" just east of Taiwan, the state-funded Central News Agency quoted Yu as saying during a transit stop in New York on his return from Latin America.

"China's behavior has clearly violated the national interest of the US and its founding spirit," Yu said, according to Chinese-language newspaper. "I'm calling on American people to support Taiwan for the sake of world peace, safety and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and the world's military security."

The moves were a strong sign that China was preparing for a military action that might involve sending a fleet of submarines to cross the US defensive line along Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, Yu was quoted saying.

China "is preparing to confront the United States in the Pacific," Yu was quoted as saying during a banquet with Taiwanese in New York on Saturday.

Yu also called China "the source of chaos" in the world with its aggressive arms buildup and its suppression of human rights both in China and in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, the United Evening News reported.

Yu also lambasted the "unification law" Beijing has been trying to create, saying that the law is designed only to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The law would serve as a legal basis for using military force against Taiwan, analysts say.

Responding to Yu's remarks, Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mi (陳其邁) said that the premier was merely stating the facts.

"China's so-called `unification law' is tantamount to an authorization to invade Taiwan," Chen said. "Beijing has posed a serious threat to Taiwan and the region because of its military build-up."

Chen also painted Yu's talks as a way to address the issue of cross-strait peace and stability.

"Safety and stability in the Taiwan Strait is an issue that concerns not only Taiwan, but also the US, because it corresponds with its national interest," Chen said. "I'm sure neither the US nor any other country in the region and in the world would be happy to see a military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait."

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