Taiwanese feel threatened by China missiles: minister
CNATAIPEI--Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu rebutted Friday remarks by a Beijing official that China's missiles are not aimed at Taiwan, saying that “it is hard for Taiwan's people to buy his story.”
July 31, 2011, 11:32 pm TWN
Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, said during a visit to the United States this week that China's missile deployment is meant for self-defense and that the weapons are not aimed at Taiwan.
In response, Kao issued a press release saying that the Taiwanese people “do feel threatened” by China's missiles, which he called an “indisputable fact.”
Kao said that Wang's remarks are even more unconvincing at a time when cross-Taiwan Strait tension is being reduced.
The two sides have signed 15 agreements over the past three years and the improved relations have led to unprecedented “signs of peace” across the Taiwan Strait and positive responses from the international community, Kao said.
Even U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in 2008 and 2010 have not changed the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, said Kao.
Instead, he went on, the weapons sales to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act served to reassure the Taiwanese public and helped push forward relations between Taiwan and mainland China.
He said the positive effects of the U.S. arm sales can be seen in the improved relations between the two sides over the past three years.
Kao also agreed with the view that the two sides should not “resort to arms again.”
He said that the current administration is against the use of force, which is apparent in its principles of “no unification, no independence and no use of force.”
Since both sides of the Taiwan Strait are against resorting to arms, efforts should be made to carry out this ideal with active and concrete measures, he said.
Kao also called on the U.S. to honor the Taiwan Relations Act and sell F-16C/Ds and diesel-electric submarines to Taiwan to ensure the peace and stability of the region.
According to the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. is obliged to sell arms to Taiwan to help it defend itself.
Kao said that Taiwan's F-5 jet fighters are aging and that China's development of its J-20 stealth fighter could exacerbate the imbalance of military power between the two sides.