Wed, Feb 11, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Military to go ahead with drills on Kinmen, Matsu

CNA , TAIPEI

Routine military exercises and drills on Kinmen and Matsu will be held as scheduled this year, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said yesterday.

Major General Huang Shey-sheng (黃穗生) told a news conference that the idea of establishing "demilitarized zones" across the Taiwan Strait as advocated by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is "only an idea" that needs detailed planning and support before being put into practice.

Noting that demilitarized zones do not yet exist, Huang said that the war games planned for Kinmen and Matsu will not be affected by the idea and will be held as scheduled.

Last week Chen said that to avoid military conflicts, demilitarized zones should be established across the Strait, including the removal of combat personnel, equipment and deployed missiles, to create a "buffer zone in terms of time and space."

He also called for the signing of a cross-strait "peaceful interaction" accord and appealed for a prohibition on the use of military and economic blockades. He said representatives from both sides should be stationed in each other's capital cities to facilitate negotiations.

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