U.S. PACIFIC COMMANDER CALLS ANTI-SECESSION LAW 'DISCONCERTING'
ROC Central News Agency
Washington, March 8 (CNA) China's proposed anti-secession legislation is disconcerting, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday.
Adm. William Fallon, who assumed his post in late February, made the remarks at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing during which he was asked to give his general evaluation of Beijing's so-called anti-secession law and the U.S. aircraft carrier deployment in the West Pacific in light of this new development. "It's disconcerting that this legislation has been put forward, because I think it hardens the line, and it apparently gives them a legal basis of sorts for the potential for military action later on," the admiral said.
Fallon added that he doesn't think the new legislation would be useful in lessening tensions between Taiwan and China.
As to U.S. capabilities in the West Pacific, Fallon said the presence of a carrier strike group in the Far East certainly has been very useful in the past for a number of events. "This ready capability forward-deployed, I think, is a very good idea, particularly given the vast distances across the Pacific, " he said, adding that "having this much robust power forward-deployed gives us a lot of options for quick response." "And some of it is certainly to deter potential military actions, but there are other times when it comes in very handy, like the tsunami relief effort, when we happened to have another carrier out there that was nearby and could divert down there and work the issue," Fallon said.
The National People's Congress -- China's rubber-stamp parliament -- began to screen the so-called anti-secession bill Tuesday and is expected to pass it next week.
(By Oliver Lin and Sofia Wu)
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