Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian repeated on Tuesday his call on China to stop aiming missiles at Taiwan while stressing the need to try to normalize relations with Beijing.

“At least 706 strategically guided missiles (of China) are deployed within a radius of 300 to 600 km across the Taiwan Strait,” Chen told a news conference from Taipei via a video link.

The number of such missiles is growing by an average of 100 a year, he added.

“The expansion of China’s military ambition and capabilities constitute a direct threat to democratic Taiwan,” Chen said.

Speaking to reporters who had gathered at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, Chen called Japan “Taiwan’s best partner” and both parties have an important “security relationship.”

He declined to elaborate on the issue of multilateral security involving Taiwan, Japan and the United States.

Chen expressed dissatisfaction that the international community is focusing on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions but fails to do likewise on what he termed the Chinese military threat.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.