Dear Mr. Kofi A. Annan,
China said Monday (Jan. 11, 1999) it will redeploy its missiles
if the U.S. agree to bring Taiwan under the umbrella of the Theater
Missile Defense system, the China Time reported. Beijing officials
warned that any country that forms a military alliance with Taiwan
is violating China's sovereignty. TMD is a regional anti-missile
defense system conceived by the U.S. and presently being deliberated
in the U.S. Congress. Once operational, it would deploy defensive
weapons to protect against missile attacks on Japan, Taiwan, and
the U.S.. Mainland Chinese military officials say any such measures
will be countered by their own redeployment.
China's willingness to mount an offensive was amply
demonstrated through a series of missile tests and military exercises
in waters around Taiwan beginning in June, 1996 and lasting until
the island's first direct presidential election in March, 1997,
Beijing's strong response to the proposed inclusion of Taiwan in
the TMD defense system came as no surprise, but it is hardly justifiable.
First, even if does become a reality for Taiwan to finally join
the TMD program participation will not have any destabilizing impact
on regional stability as warned by Beijing. This is simply because
the TMD program was designed for defensive use, not
as a military system to be used for offensive invasion.
Taipei has good reasons to take Beijing's military
threat seriously, because the communist regime has repeatedly claimed
that it will not hesitate to take Taiwan by force if this island
continue to reject its terms for reunification with the mainland.
Beijing must also recognize that Washington has a
legal commitment to the security of Taiwan. The U.S. government
is obliged by the Taiwan Relations Act to provide this island with
the weaponry system. It needs to attend to its security concerns.
Beijing not only opposes Taiwan's participation in the TMD program.
It is also against Japan's ongoing plan to join the U.S. in developing
and deploying the anti-missile defense system in the region on the
consideration that the establishment of such a collective security
system would mitigate its influence as a regional military power.
Unfortunately, Beijing's threaten Taiwan in military force, despite
Taiwan democratic system, and Taiwan people's wish would
face Taiwan at an end of independence.