US Opposes Taiwan's Missiles

Diplomats concerned about further escalation with mainland
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2007 6:43 PM CDT
The sun goes down behind a building in Beijing.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As Taiwan threatens to go on the offense against China, the U.S. is wincing at the island's growing arsenal. Last month Taipei announced a missile program to hit Chinese sites, to the candid disapproval of Steven Young, the top American diplomat there. "The focus should be on defensive weapons, not on offensive weapons," he says.

Young has supported an $18 billion defensive weapon package the U.S. proposed last year, but opposition parties have held it up, in part out of distaste for American meddling. "This is Taiwan's domestic problem, unrelated to the United States or U.S.-Taiwan ties," said legislator Chang Hsien-yao.