MAC CHIEF SEES NO IMMINENT CRISIS OF CROSS-STRAIT MILITARY CONFLICT
ROC Central News Agency
Hong Kong, March 25 (CNA) The possibility of a military conflict between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait breaking out in the near future is nil, Taiwan's top mainland policy planner said in a recent interview with a Hong Kong daily published Friday.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu said in the interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal that the Republic of China's armed forces have consistently kept a close watch on military activities on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.
Since China's ceremonial legislature, the National People's Congress, passed the Anti-Secession Law March 14, Wu said, the People's Liberation Army has not conducted any abnormal activities. Against this backdrop, Wu said, he sees no immediate potential for a cross-strait military conflict.
Nevertheless, Wu said, the possibility continues to grow because of Beijing's deployment of more than 700 ballistic missiles along its southeastern coast opposite Taiwan. Worse still, he added, the number of China's missiles targeting Taiwan will further increase to 800 by the end of next year.
Asked why Taiwan has reacted strongly to Beijing's Anti-Secession Law that codifies the use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan, Wu said Taiwan's rage lies in China's erroneous premise for using brute force.
Stressing that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been independent of each other since 1949, Wu said the term "anti-secession" seemingly implies that the two sides are united at present and, therefore, China could "punish" Taiwan at will.
China's ill-intentioned and arbitrary legislation is unacceptable to democratic and pluralistic Taiwan because it is tantamount to restricting Taiwan people's freedom of choice.
By authorizing its Central Military Commission to use non-peaceful means to stop Taiwan from declaring independence, Wu went on, the legislation is actually a war bill that completely runs against the United Nations charter.
As for Taiwan's response measures, Wu said ultimately, national interests are the top concern and formulating guidelines for counter- strategies.
According to Wu, the ROC government will not promote the legislation of an anti-invasion bill or an anti-aggression bill. The government will also refrain from launching a "defensive referendum" to counter Beijing's legislation. "We must exercise self-restraint and be a responsible member of the international community, " Wu said, adding that world news media has so far published more than 2,000 articles, editorials and commentaries in support of Taiwan.
In addition, Wu said, more than one million Taiwan people will take to the streets to voice their strong opposition to the Anti-Secession Law.
Wu said the ROC government will adopt a cautious and prudent attitude to cope with the situation in the wake of Beijing's new legislation.
(By Lu Chien-hui and Sofia Wu)
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