Japan-US plan causes "grave concern"

By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-05 07:18

A US-Japanese plan to deal with a possible military conflict across the Taiwan Straits has caused "grave concern" in Beijing.

Washington and Tokyo will discuss a contingency plan in case of a "crisis" situation arising in areas around Japan, including the Taiwan Straits, Kyodo News Agency reported yesterday.

Related readings:
Taiwan's leader trying to ruin ties
 Hu calls for fighting against Taiwan secessionists
 Mainland lifts restriction on Taiwan journalists for Olympics
 US urged to honor one-China policy
The report quoted several sources familiar with Japan-US military cooperation as saying the two sides have reached consensus on the necessity for such a contingency plan and will soon begin discussing the details.

Responding to the reports, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference yesterday: "Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory and any arrangement between Japan and the United States should respect and abide by the one-China principle."

"We have expressed grave concern," he added, calling secessionist forces in Taiwan "the greatest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits".

He said both Sino-Japanese and Sino-US relations are developing smoothly, and expressed the hope that the two countries will take more active measures conducive to the healthy development of their relationship with China.

However, Chinese experts on international studies warn that the strengthening of the US-Japanese alliance is targeted at China and would further complicate the nation's security environment.

US urged not to send wrong signals

China yesterday urged the United States to take practical steps to contain "Taiwan independence" forces.

"The Chinese government firmly opposes any official exchange between the United States and the Taiwan authorities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular press briefing.

Liu's comments were in response to reports about a possible transit stop in the United States by Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian on his trip to Nicaragua next week.

"The US government should not allow Chen to conduct any activity in the United States in any name or under any guise," Liu said. Nor should the United States send any wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" forces, he added.

In Washington, Sean McCormack, the spokesman of the US Department of State, reportedly said that in terms of transit, the US "has been consistent with our obligations and our one-China policy".

Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that the alliance aims to act as "a policeman" in the Taiwan Straits and play a dominant role in the region.

Wu Xinbo, a professor with the Center of America Studies at Fudan University, pointed out in a published article that enhanced security ties between Washington and Tokyo since the mid-1990s have reshaped the East Asian security environment; and Japan has showed increased assertiveness and willingness to work militarily with the United States.

He said interaction between Washington and Tokyo on the Taiwan issue has been increasing, with Tokyo more actively consulting and coordinating with Washington in its "relations" with the island province from listing Taiwan as a common strategic objective to working on a joint war plan for the Taiwan Straits.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without referring to the "Taiwan contingency plan", said yesterday that his country would pursue assertive foreign policies and strengthen its ties with the United States and Europe in response to new security threats in the region.

Abe was addressing his first news conference of the year.

(China Daily 01/05/2007 page1)

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours