- HONG KONG (Reuters)
- China has ordered its army on combat alert, ready to strike Taiwan if
the island's election dispute intensifies, Hong Kong's South China Morning
Post said on Monday.
- The order was issued on Saturday, the paper said.
- Chinese President Hu Jintao could cite the newly revised
state constitution to declare a state of emergency over Taiwan, paving
the way for a military attack, the paper quoted unidentified sources on
the mainland as saying.
- Beijing has ordered government departments in the capital
and the coastal provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang to put more
officials on duty, it said. In a military operation, these provinces would
serve as bases for missile attacks.
- But analysts said there were no signs an attack was imminent,
the paper said.
- Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian narrowly won re-election
on Saturday, a day after he was shot in a mysterious assassination attempt,
but opposition leader Lien Chan has declared the vote unfair and demanded
- China considers self-governing Taiwan a renegade province
that must be eventually be reunified, by force, if necessary.
- China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement on
Sunday it was "closely following" the situation in the island.