Taiwan on Tuesday called on China to withdraw the estimated 1,600 missiles aimed at the island before any bilateral peace agreement is finalized, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Aug. 25).
Taipei's chief China policy official, Lai Shin-yuan, said "a precondition for a peace treaty is accumulating enough mutual trust between the two sides, but China's huge military deployment reflects insufficient trust."
"We continue urging China to voluntarily give up its military deployment, which is felt as a threat by the people of Taiwan."
Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has vowed to use military force to prevent any effort by the island's government to pursue formal independence. Issue specialists in Taiwan project it is targeted by in excess of 1,600 Chinese missiles.
Lai rejected worries a treaty ending the decades-long dispute would result in unification with the mainland. Rather, a peace accord would provide "everlasting peace" and cement Taipei's aim of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" across the Taiwan Strait (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, Oct. 18).