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China military action across aviation routes: wrong day, wrong absolutely

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Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow M inister for Trade


Federal National Party Leader, Tim Fischer has launched an attack on China for its announced resumption, from today, of missile and shell firing across international air routes, north of Taiwan.

"The 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific is hardly the day on which to commence ten days of intense military activity," Mr Fischer said in Brisbane today.

"China announced last week that between the 15th and 25th August it will carry out major missile firing and artillery shell firing exercises, forcing changes to certain key international air routes between Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

"This particularly aggressive effort is of course directed at sending a message to Taiwan as it approaches Presidential elections, but also demonstrates a belligerent and unfortunate attitude to the world.

"Furthermore, China is yet to announce cessation of its nuclear testing activity, although in its case, tests are carried out on mainland China.

"The sooner the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is in place the better, and this certainly has received a boost from President Clinton's decision to adopt an absolute zero stance for the USA.


"The China-Taiwan situation displays how close to the surface is the potential for cleavage in the APEC grouping.

"While these risks are certainly there, the strategy that needs to be followed is to treat division with care so as not to jeopardise the capacity of APEC to deliver on its highly desirable economic objectives.

"It will be a great pity if the most recent developments between China and Taiwan lead to November's Osaka meeting of APEC being diverted to political issues instead of tackling the all important processes of how the Bogor declaration will be implemented.

"I realise the current machinations in Beijing should be kept in perspective and should be kept separate from direct trade issues, however, it is of more than passing concern that on this

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wonderful 50th Anniversary of the end of WWII, military action is causing some diversions and delays to passengers flying between Australian and Japan via Hong Kong and Taiwan," Mr Fischer said.

This is very regrettable for practical and symbolic reasons, Mr Fischer added.

Tuesday 15 August 1995