Chinese PM hints at reducing the number of its missiles targeting Taiwan; Taiwan welcomes the statement
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  • According to Taipei-based media reports, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has suggested that mainland missiles pointing at Taiwan could one day be removed. Reports noted that when asked about withdrawing Chinese missiles targeting Taiwan, Wen said, "I believe the issue you mention will eventually be realized." Wen made these remarks in New York while meeting with Chinese-language media.1

    It is estimated that the Chinese military has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island. But recent reports in Taiwanese media have noted that the People's Liberation Army may boost the number of short-range ballistic and cruise missiles facing Taiwan to 1,960 before end of 2010.2

    Meanwhile, Taiwan has welcomed the Chinese Prime Minister's statement. Talking to reporters in capital Taipei on Friday, Taiwan's Prime Minister Wu Den-yih described his Chinese counterpart's gesture as "a good thing and a sign of kindness," but wanted to begin removal of the missiles as soon as possible.3