China continues its plan of making friends in Asia.
China may be planning to slowly reduce the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan in a significant show of goodwill toward the self-ruled island, a Taiwanese military official said Sunday.
“Now I think it’s generally agreed that Beijing is using economic and cultural influence to establish its international status,” said Chong-pin Lin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.
But removing missiles that can be quickly relocated is almost a meaningless gesture, many military analysts tell Peace and Freedom.
China recently settled a long-standing border dispute with Vietnam.
Then China sent Pandas on a goodwill mission to Taiwan.
Now China may reduce the number of ballistic missiles facing Taiwan.
But there is a darker side too, as a Japanese newspaper is reporting today that China is violating an at-sea oil exploration agreement with Japan….
“I think the objective of the grand strategy [of China] is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin Lin.
TAIPEI (Reuters) – China may be planning to slowly reduce the number of missiles aimed at in a significant show of goodwill toward the self-ruled island, a Taiwanese military official said Sunday.
China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek‘s Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.
Gifts from China: Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, the two giant pandas from China, are seen in the quarantine area in Taipei zoo in Muzha December 23, 2008.(Taipei City Government/Handout/Reuters)
But Beijing may be planning to remove some of its approximately 1,300 short-range and mid-range missiles aimed at Taiwan, which is about 160 km (99 miles) away, said island defense ministry spokeswoman Chih Yu-lan.
“We have some grasp of this situation,” Chih said.
Relations between the two sides have already improved since China-friendly Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May. His government has signed trade and transit deals with Beijing while avoiding displays of sovereignty for the island.
China’s removal of missiles would be particularly popular with Taiwan’s public compared with other recent goodwill measures, such as a gift of two giant pandas and financial incentives for Taiwan investors, political experts on the island say.
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