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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Downer to warn China on Taiwan - World -

Downer to warn China on Taiwan - World - "Downer to warn China on Taiwan
By Hamish McDonald, Beijing
Michelle Grattan, Canberra
August 16, 2004

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is expected to warn China about its escalating military preparations for an attack on Taiwan when he meets his Chinese counterpart in Beijing this week.
At least implicitly, he will back recent American warnings that US forces remain capable of defending the island republic, but he is unlikely to go into Australia's possible role as a key US ally in any such conflict.
Australian officials say rising tensions between mainland China and Taiwan mean that the Taiwan issue will get particular attention in the talks Mr Downer will have with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and other leaders today and tomorrow, before a short visit to North Korea. 'We want to raise it because it's something we are concerned about,' one official said.
Following the re-election in March of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, China has stepped up preparations for military intervention in the expectation Mr Chen will move to formalise the island's political separation from the mainland."

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