Scary news from the President of Taiwan:
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has detailed the arsenal of Chinese missiles targeting Taiwan in his latest move to build a case for a contentious sovereignty vote next year.
Chen said late Sunday it was the first time he had specified the location of bases within 600km holding 496 ballistic missiles pointed at Taiwan. The move is likely to inflame already tense relations with Beijing.
Actually, that’s not so scary. Anyone reading StrategyPage the last few years knows about how many missiles China has pointed at “their” wayward province. What’s really interesting about the story is buried almost halfway down:
His speech is seen as part of a plan to rally support for a referendum on unspecified sovereignty issues to run alongside the presidential elections on March 20.
Kids, what Chen is doing takes a pair of brass ones so big, not even Quasimodo could ring them.
Chen isn’t just scaring the bejeebus out of his constituents, but he’s asking them to vote for independence anyway. It’s as if the first line of the Declaration of Independence read, “The Royal Navy lies off our coasts, there are Hessian mercenaries in our streets, and Britain has the power to destroy everything we’ve built here – so c’mon and support independence!”
If Chen gets his referendum, things are going to get awfully tense across the Tawain Straits.