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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Taiwan berates 'double standards'
By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian as seen on a video screen
President Chen used technology to speak to journalists in Japan
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has accused the international community of double standards, for not taking the threat from China as seriously as the nuclear challenge posed by North Korea.

Mr Chen made much of the military threat to his island from mainland China.

Beijing believes Taiwan is nothing more than a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland.

It has always threatened to counter any move towards independence with force.

Taiwan's ambiguous status makes it difficult for President Chen to leave the island for official visits, as China puts a lot of effort into isolating him and his government.

So the president has resorted to using internet technology to enable him to take part in video conferences with journalists from overseas.

Speaking to a gathering in Tokyo, via a video link from Taipei, he was robust in his criticism of China and of the failure of some in the international community to recognise the threat it poses to security in the region.

While welcoming the efforts by the US and Japan to support Taiwan, he pointed out that six-party talks are going on in Beijing to try to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons while at the same time some European countries are trying to lift the embargo on selling arms to China.

In view of the fact that China has more than 700 missiles pointing at Taiwan, with 100 more being added each year, Mr Chen said that would indicate double standards.

And he added that the absence of any external threat to China should cause democratic nations to question Beijing's motives for the military build-up.

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