China Renews Threat To
Take Taiwan - Militarily
Or Otherwise
By Charles Hutzler
Associated Press Writer
BEIJING (AP) -- China hinted on Monday that the United States was a potential threat to its security, issuing its first public defense policy review in three years.
In the statement, China also renewed a threat to retake Taiwan by force and criticized nuclear tests by India and Pakistan.
The Cabinet said China wants a stable world order to pursue its primary goal of economic development. It noted an overall easing of tensions worldwide, but the Cabinet said threats persist.
Without naming names, the policy review assailed "hegemonism" -- a euphemism for the United States and its superpower status -- and the U.S. alliance with Japan.
"Hegemonism and power politics remain the main source of threats to world peace and stability," the policy paper said. "Some countries, by relying on their military advantages, pose military threats to other countries, even resorting to armed intervention."
The policy review criticized, again without specifying, the U.S.-Japan security treaty as "an infringement upon and interference in China's sovereignty." Renewed treaty guidelines issued last year drew Beijing's anger after a Japanese politician suggested that the pact covered potential conflicts over Taiwan.
China is sensitive about activities that undermine its claim to Taiwan as a renegade province. Japan ruled the island for 50 years until its defeat in World War II. The United States backed the island through much of the Cold War and continues to sell it arms over Beijing's objections.
In keeping with China's usually prickly statements on Taiwan, the State Council renewed a pledge to seek peaceful unification with the island but added that Beijing "will not commit itself not to resort to force."
If largely a recitation of long-held and oft-repeated positions, China's first published defense policy review since 1995 was notable for bringing a modicum of transparency to the largely secretive workings of the world's largest standing army.
While taking issue with India and Pakistan for conducting nuclear tests, the State Council singled out New Delhi for harsher treatment, criticizing it for "flagrantly" defying the international community. Pakistan is a decades-old ally.
Defense officials from the United States and other countries have urged China to publish more information about the People's Liberation Army more often to dispel suspicions about Chinese intentions.
The policy paper provided some details on a plan to trim the PLA by 500,000 to 2.5 million members. Overall the army will shrink 19 percent, the navy 11.6 percent and the air force 11 percent, the paper said.
It also released figures on conventional weapons imports and exports registered with the United Nations between 1992 and 1996. The figures show, for example, China imported 48 aircraft and two naval vessels, but the report does not provide details on the purchases.
Offsetting the small steps toward openness, the report does little to open the accounts of the PLA.

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