U.S., JAPAN SURE TO DEFEND TAIWAN: SECURITY OFFICIAL
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) The United States and Japan are sure to come to Taiwan's defense if the island is attacked by China, because Taiwan's security is their common objective, a security official said Saturday in Chiayi, southern Taiwan.
Parris Hsu-cheng Chang, deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council, told a group of civil leaders who attended a training program organized by the Ketagalan Institute that war with China is the last thing that Taiwan wants to see. However, he added that Taiwan would be able to put up significant resistance and inflict substantial damage on China in such a conflict.
Citing a joint statement issued by the United States and Japan on Feb. 19 which said the peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait is one of their common strategic objectives, Chang claimed this is a promise to defend Taiwan from an attack by China.
The strong international disapproval of the use of force to settle disputes between states is also a deterrent against Beijing pursuing any such military adventures, Chang said.
He said that China has therefore tried to isolate Taiwan in the international community while at the same time engaging in a charm offensive to win the hearts of the Taiwan people through such moves as offering duty-free access for the island's fruit exports.
However, Chang warned, such preferential treatment could have a price for Taiwan as China might ask for similar treatment under the framework of the World Trade Organization of which both Taiwan and China are members.
Meanwhile, Chang also raised doubts about China's capability to use force against Taiwan in light of the fact that China is plagued by domestic problems such as poverty, uneven distribution of wealth, and social unrest prompted by a lack of freedom and democracy.
The security official said Taiwan can turn the tables on Beijing by encouraging the Chinese people to push their government to move on the path toward democracy.
(By Maubo Chang)
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