According to press reports in Hong Kong, the Chinese Central
Military Commission held a meeting in the beginning of December
1997, in which it discussed weapon development for the 21st century,
with the specific purpose of intimidating Taiwan.
Diplomatic sources in Beijing said the meeting ended on Thursday,
11 December 1997. Major speeches were reportedly delivered by
President Jiang Zemin, also commission chairman, and vice-chairman
General Zhang Wannian.
Sources said Mr Jiang's speech emphasised the importance of the
Army adapting to changes in the "overall situation",
saying resources and talents should be focused on developing "key
weapon systems". An army source said General Zhang highlighted
the need to strengthen "the construction of cross-century
military equipment". The top brass also blatantly stated that
military intimidation of Taiwan would be stepped up.
The reports specifically quoted PLA officers as saying that in
order to curb "splittist" activities, the PLA should "raise
the effectiveness of military intimidation" against
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