Taiwan's military dismisses China's armed threat (The Straits Times - Reuters - 4 Aug 2004)
Beijing sees Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's plan to adopt a new Constitution by 2008 as a move towards a formal declaration of independence by Taiwan, which it views as a renegade province, and has been preparing for a possible military showdown.
'Communist China has never given up its attempt to attack Taiwan,' Taiwanese Defence Ministry spokesman Huang Suey-sheng told a news conference. 'It's no surprise that Communist China will try to use any excuse it can find to prepare for such an attack.'
Speaking on Saturday at ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan said peace and stability were impossible if Taiwan pursued independence.
'If the Taiwan independence separatist forces obstinately persist in their course, the PLA has the determination and ability to resolutely smash any Taiwan independence separatist plot,' he was quoted as saying by the People's Daily.