Tuesday, March 16, 2004

"...China is using French weapons to fight the Americans."

The French and Chinese militaries recently held joint military drills, making Taiwanese leader nervous:

AS French and Chinese warships engaged in the "most comprehensive" joint military drills yet between China and a foreign power yesterday, the spectre of war hung heavily over the last days of Taiwan's presidential election campaign.

But for once it was not China talking up the threat to scare off the Taiwanese over independence moves. Rather, it was campaigners for Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian who warned that further military co-operation between China and Europe - specifically the resumption of arms sales to China - could significantly destabilise the region.

Taiwan would be "very, very much" concerned if yesterday's China-France exercises involved anything more than search and rescue, Mr Chen's campaign manager, Chiu Yi-jen, said.

Lifting the European embargo on arms sales to China would "definitely ... lift China's military capability and we don't want to see that", said another Chen spokesman, Joseph Wu.

"We don't want to see the situation where China is using French weapons to fight the Americans."


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