Not miscalculating the votes in Taiwanese election won by Chen Shui-bian, but the unsolved problem of gaining status of independent state is the real cause of the political crisis in Taiwan.
One more obstacle for winning official status of independence is lack of the US support for Taiwan. US President George W. Bush warned Taiwan against taking measures to win independence saying: "We strongly object to one-way decisions between China and Taiwan on changes to the status quo, but commentaries and doings of the Taiwan leader reveal he may probably want to change the status."
Meanwhile, the menace of war from China pushes the Taiwan authorities to conduct a referendum on independence on March 20, 2004. Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian emphasizes the importance of the referendum. At a press-conference the Taiwan leader said the island was under the permanent menace of war from China. Chen Shui-bian said: "Hundreds of Chinese missiles are directed toward Taiwan and can be launched any moment." Some time before, the Taiwan opposition blamed the president for deliberate delay in holding the referendum.
Analysts from the Pentagon think that Chinese are getting ready for a military operation against Taiwan. Beijing is speedily increasing the missile potential of its armed forces and increases the army budget. The Pentagon says the main factor of this alleged operation must be "unexpectedness, cunning and shock". They also add that Chinese may use their missiles against the US base on Okinawa in case if the USA decides to help Taiwan. The US Department of Defense thinks that making preparations for a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan is becoming the key driving force of military modernization of China. For the time being, China holds 450 short-range missiles, but it is expected to increase its missile potential by 75 missiles per year. At that, the Pentagon emphasizes that China has improved the operating performance and the precision of its missiles. It is quite natural that Beijing will immediately react to this harsh statement in its address. Especially that the Chinese leadership already declared several times that it would seek peaceful settlement of the Taiwan problem. However, it is not clear why the Pentagon published the report now when US Undersecretary of State Jon Bolton is making a tour about China, South Korea and Japan. Bolton's tour is dedicated to the North Korea problem settlement. At first, the US undersecretary of state left for Beijing; as is known, China is one of the key figures in solution of the problem. Washington certainly needs China's support and assistance to be a success with solution of the problem.
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