Sunday, March 06, 2005

China - America's Greatest Foreign Policy Challenge

Chinese Premier Pledges to Hold On to Taiwan ( "BEIJING, March 5 -- Premier Wen Jiabao vowed Saturday never to allow Taiwan 'to separate from China under any name or by any means' as the Chinese parliament opened its annual session and prepared to enact an anti-secession law targeting the self-governing island. "

Hu did not mention the anti-secession law, but he said, "We will not have the slightest hesitation, falter or concession on the major principal issue of opposing secession."

As he spoke, his government announced it would increase military spending by 12.6 percent in 2005, the latest in a string of double-digit budget increases aimed at modernizing the army and preparing it for a possible conflict with Taiwan.

CIA Director Porter J. Goss expressed concern about China's military buildup last month, saying that it "could tilt the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait" and that "improved Chinese capabilities threaten U.S. forces in the region." The United States has pledged to help Taiwan defend itself, and President Bush said in 2001 that he would do "whatever it took" to defend the island against a Chinese attack."

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