FW: Taiwan/China

1998-06-03

Carolyn Ballard

How might this figure into "the China question" ?

-----Original Message-----
From:   •••@••.••• [SMTP:•••@••.•••]
Sent:   Monday, June 01, 1998 7:39 PM
To:     •••@••.•••
Subject:        Taiwan/China


Global Intelligence Update
Red Alert
June 2, 1998

Taiwanese Official Warns of Chinese Military Threat

Bucking the common impression that relations are slowly improving between
Taiwan and mainland China, Taiwan's national intelligence service director
on Monday warned of a growing Chinese military threat to Taiwan.  In a
speech at the National Chengchi University, Taiwan's National Security
Bureau chief, Yin Tsung-wen, said that the collapse of the Soviet Union had
allowed China to redeploy its troops to the coastal provinces opposite
Taiwan.  Yin said that, since the early 1990s, Chinese military training
and drills had focused on the potential invasion of Taiwan.  He warned that
China was also attempting to develop its electronic warfare capability.
Yin also said that Taiwan was aware of a large number of Chinese operatives
in on the island and, though there were no plans to round them up, they
were under constant observation.

Despite the fact that Taiwanese business officials and diplomats are
cautiously pursuing expanded ties with China, Taiwan's defense and
intelligence community remain unconvinced of China's alleged lack of
ability or desire to pursue reunification by military means.  Yin's
comments add weight to the assessment in our March 10 Global Intelligence
Update (http://www.stratfor.com/services/gintel/region/stories/031098.html)
that Taiwan continues to brace for any Chinese aggression, possibly without
the U.S. carrier cavalry to ride to Taiwan's aid.

Yin's rare public address occurs as the U.S. is evaluating its deployment
around Asia.  Washington is drawing down forces in the Persian Gulf, and
the India/Pakistan escalation and Indonesia collapse are occupying its
attention.  Washington is also facing Chinese protests that the revised
U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines have been extended to include Taiwan.
Finally, President Clinton will soon travel to Beijing, marking the
apparent recovery of U.S.-Chinese relations in the aftermath of the
Tiananmen Square crackdown.  Despite rapidly building up its own defensive
capabilities, Taiwan is not ready to stand alone, and so is attempting to
remind Washington that the 49-year standoff between the island and the
mainland remains unresolved and volatile.

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