Thu, Jun 01, 2006 - Page 3 News List

China lashes Taiwan over security report

AGENCIES , BEIJING AND TAIPEI

China rebuked Taiwan yesterday for a national security report that said Beijing could avert looming chaos by learning from its transformation into a democracy.

The 162-page report also said Taiwan was an unsinkable aircraft carrier that would boost its defense budget to account for 3 percent of GDP in 2008 from 2.54 percent currently.

The report, published on May 20, listed ways it says China is threatening Taiwan and proposed a demilitarized zone with China.

Li Weiyi (李維一), a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was using the report to advance the cause of independence and provoke China.

"We think that the report systematically brings together the Taiwan independence stance of the Chen Shui-bian authority," Li told reporters at a regular briefing. "This report shows that the Taiwan leader still stubbornly clings to his wrong position of Taiwan independence ... and intends to sabotage the peace and stability across the [Taiwan] Straits [sic]."

"It is focused on vilifying and attacking the motherland and deliberately drives a wedge between the feelings of compatriots on both sides of the Strait," he added.

The report also proposed ways to reduce military tension by establishing a neutral area where no military planes or ships would enter without first notifying the other side.

The area should also be free of missiles, said the report.

Taiwan says China is pointing hundreds of missiles at it and adding 100 new ones each year.

Exchanges of information about military drills and independent supervision of military contacts were also mentioned in the report.

"This report .. is a wanton assault and slander to the mainland," Li said.

In response, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) officials said yesterday that China's negative reaction showed it was insincere about improving cross-strait relations.

They accused Beijing of deliberately covering up what they said was "the fact" that China was the main obstacle in cross-strait ties.

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