China Prepares to Use Force on Taiwan
ÁÎ×Ó¹â Henry C.K.Liu ¹ù¤l¥ú
hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Sun May 14 16:56:22 MDT 2000
SCMP Saturday, May 13, 2000
President Jiang Zemin has warned generals
they were "overconfident" in suggesting total
victory over Taiwan could be secured in less
than 24 hours.
Mr Jiang was in Shanghai and neighbouring
cities for much of the week-long Labour Day
holiday to discuss Taiwan strategy in the
run-up to the inauguration of Taiwan
president-elect Chen Shui-bian next Saturday.
A Beijing source said yesterday Mr Jiang had
given instructions on both "verbal intimidation
and preparations for the use of force".
In strategy sessions in Shanghai, the President,
also chairman of the Central Military
Commission, went over military plans. "We
must only fight a war we are sure to win," Mr
Jiang reportedly said. "We must overwhelm
our enemies with clear-cut superiority [in
weapons and troop strength]."
Mr Jiang reportedly told a couple of generals
they were "over-confident" in suggesting
victory could be achieved in less than a day. A
senior Jiang aide also said in the Shanghai
meetings that PLA strategists must study in
detail American actions in Iraq and Kosovo.
The Beijing source said Mr Jiang's discussions
were with his civilian advisers as well as senior
generals from headquarters and from the
regions - particularly the Nanjing Military
Region which oversees Taiwan.
Mr Jiang and his aides agreed on the "toughest
response" should Mr Chen refuse to heed
demands that he recognise the "one China"
principle in his inauguration speech, the source
"Propaganda organs are drafting editorials and
commentaries attacking Mr Chen should he
fail to make a concession," the source said.
"Jiang laid down the spirit of such pieces."
A military source said while most PLA officers
wanted speedy action against Taiwan, Mr
Jiang and his Politburo colleagues favoured
making a final decision after China's accession
to the World Trade Organisation.
The generals told their commander-in-chief
that most preparations for "liberation" were
complete. Military analysts said the generals
told Mr Jiang they had trouble "cooling" the
rank and file, who wanted immediate action
after the inauguration. The analysts said that
even though the Politburo did not favour a war
this year, military manoeuvres more
provocative than those of 1996 might be
staged should Mr Chen fail to compromise.
Troops along the Fujian coast have been put
on alert in the run-up to the inauguration. The
analysts said it was expected large-scale
training and troop movements would continue
in several coastal provinces and cities for the
rest of the year.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan
said yesterday Beijing would only talk to the
Chen administration if the new government
recognised the "one China" principle.
CHINA - MAIN
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