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UPDATED: 19:07, June 18, 2004
Taiwan's arms procurement plan detrimental to peace: Spokesman
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Taiwan's huge weaponry procurement plan does not conform to the fundamental interest of the general public in Taiwan, a Chinese mainland official said in Beijing Friday.

Addressing a regular press conference, Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, or the Chinese central government, said Taiwan separatist forces are bending on military confrontation with the mainland, in an attempt to resist reunification through military force and challenge the "One China" principle, which constitute the fundamental reason for undermining peace and stability in Taiwan Straits area.

In response to a reporter's question on Taiwan authorities' plan to seek a weaponry procurement program totaling more than 600 billion Taiwan dollars (18 billion US dollars), the spokesman noted that China urges the US administration to honor their commitments affirmed by their leaders repeatedly so as not to affect Sino-US relations and their cooperation in important spheres.

The commitments refer to adherence to "One China" policy, abidance by three joint communiques signed between China and the United States, opposition to "Taiwan Independence", and not conducting official exchanges with Taiwan in any forms and halt arms sales to Taiwan.

Li went on to say that China has been consistent in opposing official exchanges and military cooperation in any forms between the United States and Taiwan.

With regard to media reports that a US military report containing the hint that Taiwan attack Three Gorges Dam on the mainland, Li described it as a madcap war hoot by some forces hostile to the Chinese people, and such suggestion has drawn worldwide media condemnation.

Policy on cross-strait exchanges remains unchanged
The central government of China has never changed its policy on economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, said Li.

Li told a regular press conference here that there had been no screening or suppression of "green-colored (pro-separatist)" businessmen and performing artists from Taiwan on the mainland.

"But we indeed do not welcome the very few people who stick to the stance of 'Taiwan independence' and openly support the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces," he said. "We will never allow such people to make profits on the mainland while keeping so doing," he added.

The fast growing investment and trade activities and frequent personnel exchanges across the Taiwan Strait in the past two decades have benefited people on both sides, and businessmen from Taiwan have contributed to the growth and exchanges, Li said.

The central government will continue to encourage Taiwan compatriots to invest in the Chinese mainland, provide support and service for them, and protect their legitimate rights and interests according to law, he added.

"Our policy on cross-Strait economic and cultural exchanges have not changed. It is the Taiwan authorities who are obstructing the economic ties across the Strait," Li said.

As for the report that Taiwan pop singer Zhang Huimei (A-Mei) met with protests in Hangzhou City of east China's Zhejiang Province and her performance was canceled, Li said this was a rare case, and the singer had expressed her understanding of the sentiments of local people and the way the matter was handled.

"Our opposition and boycott are only targeted at the very few people who stubbornly adhere to the stance of 'Taiwan independence' and openly support such separatist activities, and never at the mass of Taiwan compatriots," Li stressed.

It is immoral for some politicians in Taiwan to make use of this case and try to damage the ties between compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Li said.

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