Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Joseph Wu slams China's invasion plans

THREAT The MAC head said China now has more than 900 missiles aimed at Taiwan, and accused the US of `mistaking' democratization for moves toward independence

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mocking Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) by speaking with a thick Beijing drawl, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday parodied the Chinese president and slammed China for scheming to invade the country.

Wu made the remarks in a speech to more than 150 overseas Taiwanese delegates attending a conference held at the Howard Plaza Hotel in Taipei. The event was hosted by the Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace, a government-led organization that promotes Taiwan's interests abroad.

Citing the National Security Council and unnamed sources in the US intelligence community, Wu said that China now has more than 900 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan deployed at five bases in Fujian Province, as well as 11 military satellites in orbit.

"I'm very moved by your calling on China to remove the missiles on its eastern seaboard," Wu said, referring to a statement that the alliance issued on Wednesday demanding that China cease targeting Taiwan with 820 missiles.

"But that's not enough," Wu said, adding that many of the missiles were deployed on mobile launchers.

"If China one day removed the missiles from its east coast, they could just transport them all back the next day," he said.

China has made leaps in the development of its cruise missile technology, and was racing to beef up its military while Taiwan's military saw little or no growth, Wu said.

"China's acquisition of long-range bombers and mid-air refuelers from Russia means that it seeks to project its military power beyond Taiwan, because Chinese fighter jets wouldn't need to refuel mid-air in a cross-strait attack. Taiwan is so close that it doesn't need such resources," he said, adding that Taiwan was a "stumbling block to projecting power" throughout Asia for China, and was thus a prime target.

Panning China's diplomatic behavior, Wu said that "100 percent of Sudan's oil goes to China, while the Sudanese government backs genocide in its Darfur region."

He described China-Sudan relations as "chummy."

"As the African summit in Beijing winds down, let's not forget that China is behind all the worst governments in Africa," Wu said, adding that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe used Chinese firearms and artillery to "slaughter" Zimbabweans.

Wu also lashed out at the US for "mistaking" Taiwan's democratization as moves toward independence. He added that the government's efforts to amend the constitution, hold referendums, or otherwise promote democratic development had resulted in pressure from Beijing "and even the US."

As for cross-strait relations, Wu claimed the government was eager to open up the country to Chinese tourists because it wished to show the Chinese public that "Taiwan isn't at all how the Chinese media has depicted it."

Wu blamed the Chinese government for holding up negotiations on cross-strait tourism, but added that "some progress in opening ourselves up to China for tourism will happen very soon."

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) also delivered a speech at the event, and received two standing ovations from the audience.

In his speech, Chen slammed China for threatening the country with its huge and growing military.

"Despite China's impressive economic rise, it has become more authoritarian, posing a grave threat to our sovereignty and abusing human rights like never before," Chen told a packed audience.

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