Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The China problem 

Well this can't be good:

For the first time since 2000, Beijing has threatened to use force against Taiwan should the island's pro-independence movement continue to escalate.

In a tough statement, the Vice-Minister at Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office Wang Zaixi said Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's recent pro-separatist activities had crossed Beijing's "red line" and that they "run the risk of triggering a war" with the mainland.

"War will break out if the island declares formal independence," state media on Wednesday quoted Wang as saying.

"[The separatist forces] are set to pay a high cost if they think we will not use force against their conspiracy to promote formal independence."
The article goes on to say that this might be China's attempt to influence the next presidential election in Taiwan, as it did in the previous election, though I don't know whether that is good or bad news.
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