CHINESE-RUSSIAN DRILL AIMED AT POSSIBLE CROSS-STRAIT WAR: MAC
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) A just-concluded Chinese-Russian joint military exercise was apparently aimed at a possible conflict across the Taiwan Strait, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu said Friday.
Wu made the remarks after attending a seminar on legal problems faced by local small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Noting that the eight-day Chinese-Russian drills included a naval blockade, an amphibious beach landing and an invasion by paratroopers on China's east coast, Wu said the maneuvers were apparently aimed at preparing for a possible cross-strait war. "The unprecedented Chinese-Russian joint military drills embody the continuously escalating Chinese threat to and suppression of Taiwan, " Wu said.
Since Chinese President Hu Jintao took power, Wu said, China has adopted a "carrot-and-stick" strategy toward Taiwan. While offering ostensibly attractive terms for Taiwan fruit imports and students intending to study in China, the Beijing government has on the other hand stepped up diplomatic suppression and saber-rattling against Taiwan. "Even more frustrating and outrageous is that China's 'carrots' are largely lip service paid for political purposes, while its 'sticks' mostly come without explanation," Wu said.
For instance, Wu said, Taiwan has not imposed any restrictions on fruit exports to China. However, he said, Beijing leaders have engineered a media hype over its "duty-free and fast-track customs treatment" in recent weeks to sow discord in Taiwan society and even alienate local farmers from the Democratic Progressive Party administration.
At a time when Taiwan's university education system faces heavy strain, China announced recently that it will offer scholarships to Taiwan students who wish to study in China and will charge them the same tuition fees as Chinese students. "I'm afraid that China's 'cajoling strategy' could eventually have a grave impact on Taiwan's university education system, " Wu said.
While China is relentlessly propagating its so-called "one China" principle around the world, Wu said, Beijing's attempt to treat Taiwan students as their Chinese counterparts is yet another of its tricks to substantiate its "one China" principle. "In the future, China is likely to treat Taiwan businessmen as their Chinese counterparts. By then, its current investment incentives could be canceled. Should that be the case, its impact could be felt in every Taiwan social quarter. This is an issue we cannot afford to ignore," Wu warned.
With the year-end elections for city mayors and county magistrates approaching, Wu said, China has also stepped up its "united front" tactics by inviting Taiwan's city and county governments to organize delegations to visit China for negotiations on agricultural and technological exchanges.
Warning that such exchanges could lead to Taiwan to lose its competitive edge, Wu said he hopes local politicians will refrain from pursuing personal political interests at the expense of Taiwan's overall national interests.
(By Sofia Wu)
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