Tuesday, July 20, 1999 Published at 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Taiwan ignores Chinese warnings
Ready for anything: Defences on a Taiwanese beach facing China
Taiwan's President Lee Teng-hui has reaffirmed his shift of policy towards the Chinese mainland, despite further indications that Beijing is considering a military response.
Reports published in Wen Wei Po said troop movements had been observed on the coast facing Taiwan involving forces from three of China's seven military regions.
'China to blame'
However he said he was not seeking independence for his country by insisting it was a separate state from communist China.
"I did not say this to declare independence," he said.
Armoured troop carriers
The newspaper published a picture of troops marching alongside a column of armoured personnel carriers, but it did not say where or when the picture was taken.
Taiwan has accused Beijing of planting stories in the press in order to scare people on the island.
On Monday, US State Department spokesman James Rubin said Washington did not believe that China was mobilising its armed forces.
BBC Beijing correspondent James Miles says the Wen Wei report is likely to be authoritative.
In Beijing, the official China Daily newspaper has published an opinion poll which it said showed that more than 85% of Chinese backed their government's view that military force could be used against Taiwan "when necessary".
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern on Monday at the growing tension, urging Taiwan and China to resume the search for a diplomatic solution to the issue of the island's political status.