Wed, May 19, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Cross-strait steps set by government policy, MND says

By Brian Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said the establishment of confidence-building measures between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would help avoid unnecessary armed conflicts in the region but that how to make the vision become real is up to the government's cross-strait policy.

Ministry spokesman Major General Huang Suei-sheng (黃穗生) said the country's defense policy is to prevent war and that confidence-building measures would certainly help achieve the goal.

"If measures were established between the two sides, it would contribute to the transparency of military activities on either side and help prevent unnecessary armed conflict," he said.

"But how to establish such measures with China is not just a military issue. It depends on the government's cross-strait policy," he said.

Huang made the remarks at a regular ministry press conference in response to inquiries about China's statement on Monday that if Taiwan were willing to re-open talks with Beijing under the "one China" framework, it would be possible to establish military confidence-building measures.

In related news, the ministry denied that there was any unusual military deployments or maneuvers across the Strait. Several media reports have interpreted Washington's deployment of the USS Kitty Hawk to the Philippines tomorrow as a move to help defend Taiwan against possible military action by China.

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