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China assembles missiles facing taiwan

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   http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20020402-960421.htm

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20020402-960421.htm


China assembles missiles near coast facing Taiwan

Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Published 4/2/2002

China's military is deploying more short-range
ballistic missiles near the coast opposite Taiwan, as
tensions in the region are increasing over growing U.S.
support for the island.
U.S. intelligence agencies tracked a shipment of
some 20 CSS-7 short-range missiles to a missile base
near the town of Yongan in Fujian province.
The missiles were delivered in the past two weeks
and were identified by U.S. military intelligence, the
officials said.
The shipment is part of a continuing Chinese missile
buildup that has raised questions among senior defense
officials about Beijing's announced commitment to
seeking a peaceful resolution of its dispute with Taiwan.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in
an interview with The Washington Times in August that
the buildup of missiles near Taiwan has been steady
and is destablizing.
Mr. Wolfowitz said the deployments are counter to
China's announced policy of seeking a peaceful
resolution of its dispute with Taiwan. "I don't see that
building up your missiles is part of a fundamental policy
of peaceful resolution," he said.
U.S. intelligence agencies now estimate that China
has between 350 and 400 missiles deployed at several
bases within firing range of Taiwan.
The missiles are considered destabilizing because
their flight time is so short they can reach their
targets within minutes and there is no defense.
Last year, the Bush administration deferred a
decision on whether to sell advanced Arleigh
Burke-class guided missile destroyers to Taiwan in the
hope that Beijing could be persuded to halt the missile
buildup against Taiwan.
U.S. officials have said the new CSS-7s may lead to
sales of the Aegis equipped warships to Taiwan.
China's government last month denied a U.S.
warship access to Hong Kong after the Bush
administration permitted Taiwan's defense minister to
visit the United States to attend a defense conference in
Florida.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said "The
U.S. side has done a series of things that interfere with
China's internal affairs and undermine China-U.S.
relations."


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