Taiwan’s Defence Minister urges US to approve a $11bn arms package; Defence Minister: PLA to expand cooperation with militaries across the world; Bush expresses gratitude to the Chinese government and IOC for inviting him for Olympics
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  • Taiwan’s Defence Minister Chen Chao-min urged the United States to approve an $11 billion arms package for the country. Chen noted that if the arms sale was not approved before Taiwan's funding for the weapons expired at the end of the year, a new budget proposal would have to be put before the Legislative Yuan for approval. Reports noted that the deal had been indefinitely delayed in the light of the warming of the cross-strait ties and due to objections from China1.

    On the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on August 1, Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie stated that the PLA would expand its cooperation with other militaries around the world in order to maintain peace and contribute to the common development. Liang, who is a member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) stressed on the fundamental necessity of the military accepting the “absolute leadership of the Communist Party of China.” He also asserted that China was “strongly determined to oppose and curb the separatist activities of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces2.”

    US President George Bush, addressing reporters at the White House, pointed out the vitality of the Sino-US relationship, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary. Bush would be shortly touring China, South Korea and Thailand. The US President would also attend the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Beijing, an occasion which would be graced by former US President and Ambassador to China, George H.W. Bush. Mr. Bush also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government and the IOC for having invited him for the Olympics3.

    The first “terrorism information manual” was released by the Guangdong Provincial Public Security in the previous week. The purpose of the manual was to ensure public safety during the Olympics. An anti-terror mechanism with a special 24 hr information exchange was also opened4.

    In other developments, the National Energy Administration (NEA) of the government started its operations. NEA was attached to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top planning body. The State Council, China’s cabinet, had recently approved NEA’s official responsibilities. These included, among others, the drafting of energy development strategies, proposing reform advice, management of energy sectors, putting forward policies of exploring new energy avenues and carrying out international cooperation5.