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UPDATED: 16:09, June 29, 2004
US lobbying Taiwan authority to buy weapons
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After the "Executive Yuan" of Taiwan mapped out its so-called "major military purchase budget" at a cost of 610.8 billion New Taiwan dollars (four New Taiwan dollars are about one RMB yuan), Wang Jin-pyng, president of the island's "Legislative Yuan" paid a visit to the United States together with 13 "legislators" from all parties of Taiwan.

The group would not only look into their military purchase projects, but also make frequent contacts with high-ranking government officials and military officers on the US side. This US visit by Taiwan reportedly spelled two breakthroughs in history. First, the US Pacific Command for the first time opened to non-military officers from Taiwan; secondly, Wang Jin-pyng held 45-minute talks on June 21 in Washington with US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the highest-ranking US official ever met by the Taiwan "legislators". The high-class reception and quite a number of activities arranged by the US side are rarely seen in the history of contacts between Taiwan and the United States after 1979.

The Taiwan delegation, soon after arriving at the US Pacific Command in Hawaii on June 15, talked with its commander, Admiral Thomas B. Fargo at 10:30 am, and heard a briefing on Asia-Pacific security chaired by Fargo's assistant. At the same time, Fargo also talked with members of the visiting group. Commenting on the cross-Straits question, Fargo dropped a hint by expressing the worries that a war may be started due to misjudgment of the situation by governments across the Straits, and the Chinese mainland, while developing economy at a high speed, may pose a bigger threat to neighboring regions with more fund for accelerating defense modernization.

After the briefing, accompanied by a vice admiral, a rear admiral and three commodores from the US army, the visiting group had a sumptuous lunch with Fargo. Then, accompanied by a commodore, the Taiwan delegation visited the P-3C anti-sub aircraft and the Aegis Destroyer. During their visit, the US side, on top of explaining why it would sell this kind of aircraft to Taiwan, made it clear that a major improvement would be made on P-3C within five years. By then the aircraft will be capable to carry 10 kinds of weapons by wings and 8 kinds by its belly, and able to launch long-distance air-to-ship missiles, cast deep-water bombs and lay mines, they said, swearing that the improved P-3C would surely meet demands of the Taiwan army.

US repeatedly sends off wrong signals
In order to sell weapons to Taiwan, the United States does not hesitate to harm the long-term interests of China and the US. Fargo not only hinted that Taiwan should purchase more advanced weaponry to "ward off threats from the mainland", but declared that "Patriot III" missile, P-3C anti-sub aircraft and submarine would all serve actively to defend Taiwan. US officials even hinted that the island, after getting Kidd-class Destroyer in 2005, may even get Aegis destroyer, the best of its kind in US Navy.

The US side also remarkably facilitated military contacts and exchanges with Taiwan. According to high-ranking military officers of Taiwan, much breakthroughs had been scored in Taiwan-US military cooperation in recent years. Some 60 US advisors took part in Taiwan's Hankwang exercise in person and John Allen, Asia-Pacific director of the office of the US Defense Secretary will also visit the island in July. Besides, Taiwan military officers will no longer be banned soon to enter the Pentagon in their uniforms, a mark that US-Taiwan military exchanges are becoming more open and official.

Warming US-Taiwan relations spell bad influence
In its Communique of August 17, 1982 signed with China, the US side promised to the whole world its adherence to the "One China" principle, saying the country would gradually cut and finally stop weapon sales to Taiwan. However, the United States has ever since been breaking its words. Over the years, the US has been selling weapons to Taiwan with increasing number and quality. Clinging to its hegemonic position, the US has been using the Taiwan question to contain China's development. Recently, the United States has not only expanded its weapons sales to the island, but also repeatedly sent off wrong signals to the Taiwan authority and fanned up the flame of "Taiwan independence". The US acts will not only impose grave influence on the long-term China-US relations, but also cast hidden dangers over the future peace in Asia-Pacific region or even in the whole world.

By People's Daily Online

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