Military dialogue with Taiwan offered

07:49, October 14, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The Chinese mainland offered on Wednesday to open talks on military issues with Taiwan "in due course", a move that experts said could cool a potential flashpoint in the Asia-Pacific region and help warm cross-Straits ties.

"We advocate conducting contacts and exchanges on military issues, including the cross-Straits military deployment issue, in a proper way at a proper time," Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

He told reporters that Beijing wanted to "probe establishing a cross-Straits military security mutual trust mechanism to help stabilize the situation in the Taiwan Straits and ease military security concerns".

Yang made the offer after Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday called on the mainland to remove its military deployment against the island.

In response to Yang's remarks, Taiwan "premier" Wu Den-yih told the island's legislature that the time is not yet right to discuss disarmament because the two sides need to develop more trust.

"I'm afraid the time is not ripe," Wu said, according to a report from the Taipei-based Central News Agency.

With elections approaching on the island this year and in 2012, Taiwan officials may be reluctant to rush into talks with the mainland and risk raising suspicion among voters nervous about the mainland.

Cross-Straits economic ties have improved markedly since mainland-friendly Ma came into power in 2008, with the establishment of direct transport and postal links between the two sides and opening the island to mainland tourists.

But political ties between the two sides have been stalled, although President Hu Jintao has repeatedly called for the start of political talks to end hostility and urged for the establishment of a military trust mechanism across the Straits.

When it comes to military dialogue, military officials and experts said the discussion should be conducted gradually.

"The discussion on military deployment can be done step by step on the basis of military mutual trust and starting from easy topics," Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said at a news briefing in September.

Wang Hailiang, a researcher with the Taiwan Studies Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said easier topics should be addressed before sensitive issues.

"Military talks on the non-governmental level between retired generals and researchers in military research institutions can be held first to test the water and lay a foundation," Wang told China Daily on Wednesday.

Previously, more than 40 retired generals across the Straits have held an annual golf tournament in May in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province.

"The communication among retired generals across the Straits should be considered an icebreaking move to help establish a military mutual trust mechanism," former Taiwan senior military officer Chen Hsing-kuo said in an article published in the Taipei-based United Daily News.

On Sept 16, maritime authorities from the mainland and Taiwan launched their first joint maritime rescue drill off the Taiwan island of Kinmen and the mainland port of Xiamen in Fujian province. The historic paramilitary exercise is believed to be a new move to help build up mutual political trust across the Straits.

Source: China Daily - AFP


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion