Author`s name Michael Simpson

Will US Defend Taiwan?

Taiwan officials believe that US's policy towards Taiwan will not be changed
US President George W. Bush warns Taiwan against taking measures to win independence, the American leader told journalists December 9 after his meeting with Chinese State Council Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

According to George W. Bush, during his meeting with the Chinese leader he said that the US adheres to the policy stipulating that China is an integral state. The American president added: "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."

This is the most serious warning of the US addressed to the Taiwan authorities as concerning a referendum scheduled for March 20, 2004. Taiwan officials believe the warning does not mean that US's policy towards Taiwan will not be changed.

Meanwhile, the menace of war from China pushes the Taiwan authorities to conduct a referendum on independence. Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian emphasizes the importance of the referendum. At a press-conference on November 30, 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. Last week, Chen Shui-bian declared that according to the new electoral law a referendum could be conducted in the country next day after the nearest presidential election, on March 20, 2004.
 
Top representatives of the Communist power have stated that China would not allow separation and independence of the island. At the end of November, Beijing warned Taiwan once again that it considered the island its territory and might take strict measures in case attempts were made to break China's integrity. The deputy chairman of the chancellery for Taiwan affairs at the Chinese State Council commented upon the plans of the Taiwan authorities to hold a referendum on independence and said that seeking independence meant war.

Last summer it was reported that China was increasing its missile power and enlarging military spending for probable military operation against Taiwan. The split between the island of Taiwan and China resulted in a civil war in 1949.