PLA plans Taiwan intimidation

Washington, 12 December 1997

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 Taiwan.

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