Taiwan nixes China military confidence measures

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2013 5:47 AM

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is not ready to discuss military confidence building measures with China, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday, four years after leaders of the sides floated the idea when unveiling separate peace initiatives.

Releasing his ministry's quadrennial defense review, Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang said Beijing and Taipei need to build more political trust before they can start discussing military issues.

"We have been through a period of peaceful development," he said. "During this process, we need to gather more building blocks so we can accumulate enough mutual trust to pave the way for things that both of our peoples can accept."

Yang's comments reflect the cautious approach of President Ma Ying-jeou to relations with China. While engaging the mainland economically, Ma has so far been unwilling to move into other spheres.

Military analysts have identified issues like the installation of cross-strait hotlines or the holding of joint military conferences as useful for building military confidence between the sides.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, and China continues to claim self-ruled Taiwan as its territory. During Ma's five years in office, tensions between the sides have dropped to their lowest level in more than six decades amid growing economic relations.