China Warns US
Against Further Military
Aid to Taiwan

WASHINGTON (Agence France Presse) - The chairman of the Chinese legislature's Foreign Affairs Committee, Zeng Jianhui, warned Washington Thursday against extending additional military aid to Taiwan.
The Taiwan Security Enhancement Act currently being debated in the US Congress would authorize further US arms exports to Taiwan, including air-to-air missiles, new radar systems and an anti-missile system.
"If this bill is passed, it will only make the situation more tense. It will do no good to the peaceful reunification of Taiwan," Zeng told a press conference here through an interpreter.
Zeng is heading a Chinese National People's Congress delegation that is visting Washington on the invitation of a group for Sino-US interparliamentary relations.
He reiterated Peking's opposition to any anti-missile system in southeast Asia that would include Taiwan. Such a move would be regarded by Peking as interference in Chinese domestic affairs, he said.
"We strongly oppose the TMD (theater missile defense) including Taiwan," he said.
The United States and Japan are watching with some concern North Korea's missile development program, and are themselves cooperating in the field of anti-missile systems.
Zeng said he regretted the US Senate's rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Peking's support for this treaty has not changed, and preparatory work for its ratification is currently being carried out by the Chinese legislature, he noted.
On recent reports of executions or killings of sect followers in China, Zeng said that in China "we respect religious belief."
"Nobody in China is persecuted because of their religious belief. But if somebody, who is a believer, violates criminal law he would be punished according to the law," he said. ((c) 1999 Agence France Presse)