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BEIJING HAS YET TO UNIFY BASIC TAIWAN POLICY TONE: NSB

2004-06-02 17:52:46

    Taipei, June 1 (CNA) The mainland Chinese authorities have yet to unify their basic policy tone toward Taiwan, a senior national security official said Wednesday.

    National Security Bureau (NSB) Deputy Director Huang Lai made the remarks at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Defense Committee.

    During the session, opposition lawmakers asked about Huang's views on Beijing's recent saber-rattling against Taiwanese investors in the mainland. Earlier this week, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily ran an editorial saying that Beijing does not welcome pro-independence Taiwanese businessmen. The editorial even accused Hsu Wen-lung, founder of the Chi Mei Group, of making money on the mainland to fund Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and publicly calling for Taiwan independence.

    In response, Huang said the verbal attack is part of the mainland's "psychological warfare" ploy. Beijing used a similar strategic in 2000 when the DPP came to power for the first time, Huang recalled.

    Quoting intelligence reports, Huang said that the mainland has yet to set its basic Taiwan policy tone after President Chen Shui-bian's May 20 inauguration for a second four-year term.

    He said the NSB has continued to keep a close eye on developments in Beijing's Taiwan policy formulation. Moreover, he said, the bureau has been conducting long-term research of cross-Taiwan Strait economic exchanges and relevant issues. "We are also studying the background of Beijing's current round of saber-rattling against Taiwan businessmen with interests in mainland China, " Huang said, adding that the mainland fingerpointing at Taiwan businessmen marks a violation of its own promise not to politicize business issues.

    Noting that Beijing has said on numerous occasions that it would not politicize trade issues, Huang said it should abide by its words and protect Taiwan businessmen's investments on the mainland.

    Given Beijing's fickleness and capriciousness, Huang said, Taiwan businessmen should understand that investing in the mainland is very risky.

    Commenting on reports that the mainland is gearing up preparations for combined services war games on Dongshan Island off the southeastern mainland province of Fujian just 150 nautical miles west of Taiwan's Penghu Island, Huang said it has become routine for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct training drills in the Dongshan area. "For the past five to six years, the PLA has conducted a series of training exercises on Dongshan Island between July and August annually, " Huang said, adding that the training drills have usually focused on mock amphibious landing exercises.

    According to a pro-Beijing Hong Kong newspaper, up to 18,000 mainland troops will take part in the Dongshan Island drills from June to July with the aim of practicing strategies and tactics for taking control of the Taiwan Strait.

    Huang said attacking Taiwan is the PLA's long-term goal. "Beijing has consistently been preparing to take Taiwan by force. But so far, we have not yet detected obvious signs of large-scale mainland military movements or deployments," Huang said, adding that the NSB will continue monitoring the PLA's activities in order to work out suitable response measures to protect Taiwan's national security.

(By Sofia Wu)

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