OT (Overseas Topic) Chinese general hints at U.S. scheme to split China

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China general hints at U.S. scheme to split China

BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) - In a veiled jab at the United States, a top Chinese general has said "Western enemy powers" intend to subjugate and divide China, official media reported on Tuesday.

"The intention of Western enemy forces to subjugate our country won't die," the Liberation Army Daily quoted Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, as having told National People's Congress delegates.

"They are using every ounce of energy to carry out strategies to Westernise and divide us," Zhang was quoted as saying.

China sees U.S. arms sales to Taipei as emboldening independence advocates and as a major barrier to reunification.

Zhang's comments, carried by media for the first time, were part of an earlier speech to the National People's Congress in which he said Taiwan was edging closer to independence and that a breakaway would mean war.

Defence Minister Chi Haotian on Tuesday was also reported as repeating threats of military force against Taiwan if the island dragged its heels indefinitely on reunification talks.

"We sternly admonish Taiwan splittists and those playing with fire to put out the flames," Chi said in comments carried by the army newspaper and the People's Daily.

"To choose Taiwan independence would be to choose war," he was quoted as saying. "Those troublemakers who inflate themselves with foreign support and damage reunification will absolutely come to no good end!"

The words were the latest in a barrage of rhetoric against Taiwan ahead of the island's March 18 presidential elections.

Most of China's top leaders, including President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, have weighed in with speeches over the past few days warning Taiwan against breaking away.

On Monday, the Liberation Army Daily carried a thinly veiled attack on Chen Shui-bian, presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, which has traditionally supported independence.

It said "a prominent figure" advocating Taiwan independence was using "beautiful and pleasant words to lie" that he wants cooperation and peace with the mainland.

"The millions of soldiers of the People's Liberation Army stand in full battle array and on high alert against Taiwan independence and splittist forces," it said.

) copyright 2000 Reuters, Ltd.

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), March 07, 2000


China's sure not short on the political rhetoric lately. Hopefully it will die down after their elections in a couple of weeks, but if it doesnt we might all be in trouble!

Good to see you found us Possible Impact, I was begining to wonder what happened to you because I didnt see you posting on either board?

Lets see if we can put this little break away republic on the map!

-- Zdude (zdude777@hotmail.com), March 07, 2000.

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