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Monday, August 02, 2004

Yahoo News - Asia-Pacific - Asia Pulse - U.S. Should Push Beijing Not to Attack Taiwan: Report

Monday August 2, 2:14 PM

TAIPEI, Aug 2 Asia Pulse - At least three Asian countries have asked the United States to dissuade or deter mainland China from invading Taiwan, even if the island declares de jure independence, according to a Singapore newspaper report.
The English-language Straits Times daily quoted "informed sources" as claiming Saturday that "some Asian countries" have quietly pushed the Bush administration through diplomatic channels to demand that mainland leaders stick to peaceful means in resolving the Taiwan Strait issue.

At least three of those countries, which the report failed to identify, have asked the U.S. government to send an unequivocal message to Beijing's leaders that if mainland China attacks Taiwan, U.S. armed forces will intervene, according to the sources.

The Singaporean daily said that the Asian countries are worried that if a military conflict erupts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Asia's political and economic stability will be at stake. And they are hopeful that a possible U.S. warning message could deter Beijing from launching an attack on Taiwan.

The Straits Times said that U.S. White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has already expressed the U.S. stance on the issue to senior mainland Chinese officials during a trip she mande to Beijing in the first half of July, saying that Taiwan, like North Korea, is a flashpoint in Asia.

At that time, mainland President Hu Jintao and mainland military chief Jiang Zemin, also a former president, told Rice that Beijing will do its utmost to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue by peaceful means, but they also stressed that Beijing would not forsake the use of force as a last resort.


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