KMT: U.S. ASSESSMENT OF CHINA'S THREAT MAY NOT BE ACCURATE
Central News Agency
Taipei, June 27 (CNA) An assessment by U.S. defense and intelligence officials that China might attack Taiwan in two years is not accurate because it does not take into consideration the recent lowering of tension across the Taiwan Strait, a China expert said Monday.
Commenting on a Washington Times report that Pentagon officials fear that Beijing "will attack Taiwan in the next two years, " Chang Jung-kung, spokesman for the opposition Kuomintang, noted that the analysis was made purely from a military point of view.
The Washington Times report Sunday said China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, which has prompted fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in two years and then be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
Chang noted that the Pentagon assessment does not take into consideration what he claimed is the latest development that the relationship between Taiwan and China has entered a new phase since KMT Chairman Lien Chan's journey of peace to China in late April and early May. "As long as President Chen Shui-bian does not push for de jure independence of Taiwan during the rest of his term, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will be out of the shadow of war until the next presidential election in March 2008," he said.
Chang quoted various Chinese think tanks as claiming that Lien's visit to China has "defused" the crisis of war in the Taiwan Strait. In his view, the assumption that China might attack Taiwan in two years will not happen, unless Chen uses a second stage of constitutional reforms to seek de jure independence.
He pointed out that after Lien's visit to China, Beijing's policy toward Taiwan began to stress cross-strait exchanges once again. This, he said, has reduced the pressure faced by Taiwan from China's military buildup.
(By Han Nai-kuo)
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