CHINA UNLIKELY TO INVADE TAIWAN IN NEAR TERM: CHINA EXPERT
Central News Agency
Washington, June 29 (CNA) Former U.S. Ambassador to China James Lilley expressed his disapproval Wednesday of a Washington Times report that Beijing might take military action against Taiwan in two years.
Lilley, who is now director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said China's military buildup over recent years does not necessarily mean Beijing has a military ambition in the near term.
In addition, the U.S. military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region and the security cooperation between the United States and its regional allies will deter China from making an impetuous move, Lilley said.
The close economic relations between Taiwan and China, marked by investments worth US$150 billion in China by Taiwanese businesses, also makes a war unlikely across the Taiwan Strait, he said.
He said he does not think China will attack Taiwan in the near term because cross-strait tensions have tempered following the recent visits to China by two of Taiwan's opposition leaders and softening of the pro-independence stand of the Taiwan government.
(By Jorge Liu and Y.F. Low)
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