The Straits Times, Jan. 31, 2005
TOKYO - PRESIDENT Chen Shui-bian has advised Tokyo not to give in to pressure from China and instead 'pursue its own path', such as forging a military alliance with the United States and Taiwan. In an interview with Japan's Fuji Television during his visit to the south Pacific state of Palau on Friday, part of which was aired here yesterday, Taiwan's President also slammed China for planning to enact an anti-secession law to stop Taiwan from seeking independence.
Calling China's moves a 'threat' during the interview, Mr Chen said that Beijing not only had not renounced the use of force on Taiwan but instead sought to change the status quo of the Taiwan Strait by using the anti-secession law as a legal basis to invade the island. He said that China's military expansion targeted not only Taiwan but also posed a threat to the US and Japan. Hence, he hoped beside constituting a democratic bloc, the three parties could also forge a security alliance. Citing China's protests over former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui's visit to Japan as well as Tokyo's intent to grant visa-free treatment to Taiwan tourists, he said Japan should not cowed by pressure from China. 'Japan is an independent country and not a province of China. It must have confidence in itself,' he stressed. Meanwhile, news reports in Taiwan said the first non-stop flights from China to Taiwan might have taken a shorter route instead of passing through Hong Kong territory as agreed.------------