U.S.-JAPAN JOINT STATEMENT NOT LINKED TO ANTI-SECESSION LAW: MAC HEAD
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, March 8 (CNA) Taiwan's top official in charge of mainland affairs has said the joint statement issued by the United States and Japan in February is a product of China's increasing military power and has nothing to do with Beijing's proposed anti-secession law.
Joseph Wu, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), made the remarks in an exclusive interview conducted with the Central News Agency Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and Defense Minister Yoshinori Ohno held a security consultation meeting in Washington, D.C., Feb. 19. In a joint statement after the meeting, the U.S. and Japanese officials listed "encouraging a peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue" as part of their common strategic objectives in the Asia-Pacific region.
Wu said that although Washington and Tokyo have voiced their serious concerns about China's proposed anti-secession law, there is no connection between their joint statement and the bill. He noted Washington already had plans in place regarding the U.S.-Japan relationship prior to U.S. President George W. Bush's inauguration for a second term.
The joint statement is relevant to China's military deployments and expansion in recent years, the MAC head said, adding that the mainland's military deployment targeting Taiwan also poses threats to other countries.
Pointing out that the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Strait are two areas where a wider East Asian conflict could potentially erupt, Wu said that the United States and Japan both feel that any instability in these regions poses a direct threat to them.
On reports that Japan has recently paid more attention to the Taiwan Strait issues, Wu said that the rapid and increased Chinese military deployment has made Japan feel differently and that there have been delicate changes in the relationship between Japan and China. "China's hostility toward Japan has increased, and China's defense white paper has also put more pressure on Japan," he claimed.
On Taiwan-Japan ties, the MAC head said that the Taiwan government maintains very close unofficial relations with Japan, adding that the two countries can also engage in a security dialogue through an unofficial mechanism and that such dialogue can be strengthened if necessary.
(By P.C. Tang)
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