Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

China biggest threat to region, new group says

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

China is the main cause of problems relating to preserving peace in the Asia-Pacific region and deserves extra attention from countries in the area, a peace promotion group said yesterday.

"Before the 1990s, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, dubbed `Asia's Four Dragons,' dedicated themselves to economic development," said Koo Kuan-min (辜寬敏), chairman of the Taiwan Peace Foundation and a senior presidential adviser. "With the rise of China in the 1990s, everything changed as a result of its booming economy and military modernization. Asia's peace problems will become ever more serious if China does not change its policies."

Peace is not like chanting sutras, Koo said, meaning it does not come easily.

"If we want peace, we have to be ready to pay a price for it," he said.

Koo made the remarks at a press conference held yesterday to announce a two-day forum organized by his foundation to be held tomorrow and Sunday. The event, entitled "2006 Asia-Pacific Peace Observation," will publicize studies on the peace and security situation in Northeast Asia, the Taiwan Strait, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific.

Koo said that peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region is the foundation of regional prosperity and development in the region, and has significant impact on cross-strait stability.

It is important to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait, Koo said, because it is important to the peace and security of the region.

Facing China's military expansion and its potential threat to regional safety, Taiwan must not keep quiet about the effort it puts in to maintain cross-strait peace and should make known its position on regional peace, he said.

Liu Fu-kuo (劉復國), from the Institute of International Relations of the National Chengchi University, said the most serious security problem in the region lies in Northeast Asia, where Japan, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and the US are competing for domination.

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