issues White Paper re. Taiwan
page of the New York Times of February 22, read: "Less than
one month before presidential elections in Taiwan, the Chinese
government released the bluntest warning yet that it will
not wait indefinitely for the island to reunite with the mainland.
A prolonged lack of negotiations, in itself, China warned,
could provoke a military attack."
appeared in a White Paper published on February 21. In it,
China asserts that it "has the right to resort to any necessary
means" ("drastic measures including military force") to "realize
the reunification of the two sides of the Straits." All this,
one day after Taipei announced it would cancel a long-scheduled
missile test "to show China goodwill."
what the U.S. would do if China acted on its ultimatum, White
House spokesman Joe Lockhart said on February 22: "In 1996
we responded appropriately to what we viewed was a threat.
That should give you some indication on how we view this situation."
1996, China menaced Taiwan with war games in the run-up to
Taiwan's first direct presidential elections, firing missiles
into the water just miles off the island.