Mon, Aug 02, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Several countries urge US to deter China from invasion

SENDING A SIGNAL To preserve stability, some Asian countries want Washington to tell Beijing that the US will intervene if China invades Taiwan

CNA , TAIPEI

At least three Asian countries have asked the US to dissuade or deter China from invading Taiwan, even if the island declares de jure independence, according to a Singapore newspaper report.

The English-language Straits Times daily quoted "informed sources" as claiming Saturday that "some Asian countries" have quietly pushed the Bush administration through diplomatic channels to demand that China's leaders stick to peaceful means in resolving the Taiwan Strait issue.

At least three of those countries,which the report failed to identify, have asked the US government to send an unequivocal message to Beijing's leaders that if China attacks Taiwan, US armed forces will intervene, according to the sources.

The Singaporean daily said that the Asian countries are worried that if a military conflict erupts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Asia's political and economic stability will be at stake. They also hoped that a possible US. warning message could deter Beijing from launching an attack on Taiwan.

The Straits Times said that US White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has already expressed the US stance on the issue to senior Chinese officials during a trip she made to Beijing in the first half of July, saying that Taiwan, like North Korea, is a flashpoint in Asia.

At that time, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and military chief Jiang Zemin (江澤民), also a former president, told Rice that Beijing will do its utmost to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue by peaceful means, but they also stressed that Beijing would not forsake the use of force as a last resort.

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