September 9, 2007


Taiwan Leader Riles China, U.S. (PETER ENAV, 9/09/07, AP)

With a deafening roar, eight Mirage fighter jets shoot upward from the darkened runway at Taiwan's Hsinchu Air Force Base, armed with a deadly array of missiles and a mission to knock out incoming Chinese warplanes.

It's only a simulation, of course, but the tensions are always real, and lately have ratcheted up over an ambitious political gambit by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian that has rattled both China and the U.S., Taiwan's closest ally.

At issue is Chen's plan for a public referendum next year on Taiwan seeking entry to the United Nations. Beijing views the referendum as a direct challenge to its claim that Taiwan is part of China.

No one expects war anytime soon, but Chen's move worries U.S. officials enough that they have publicly criticized it.

...they ought to rattle us.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 9, 2007 1:08 PM
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