Taiwan urges China to call off threats

Agence France Presse

Taipei, January 31:

Taiwan’s president today reiterated his call for China to renounce its threats of violence against the island, just two days before Beijing was expected to send its highest-level delegation in 10 years to Taipei.

President Chen Shui-bian, in a speech to the Solomon Islands’ parliament, complained that China had 706 ballistic missiles targeting the island and was increasing the battery by 120 a year. He called on China to “join the chorus of the Pacific countries in pursuit of peace and democracy, and to renounce the use of force to threaten the neighbouring countries.” “Taiwan would like to do everything it can to safeguard peace and the status quo in the Taiwan Strait,” he added in comments released by the Presidential Office here.

“As Taiwan has long come under China’s military threat ... Taiwan has stronger aspiration for peace than any other country in the world.”