China said yesterday its armed forces had a "sacred responsibility" to crush moves towards independence by Taiwan, whatever the cost, and described relations with the island as "grim". (The Financial Times, 12/28/04.)
My guess is that the dictators in Communist China are starting to get worried about the "wind of freedom," sweeping the world and the pro-independence movement.
From Digger Realm's post, China Continues Threats Against Taiwan, Will "Crush" Them.
It seems to me that this is all about ego. There really is no need economically or militarily for China to hang on to Taiwan. China has an ample supply of land and manpower. I am fairly ignorant of the relations and past animosities between the two nations and any other underlying issues other than the obvious political and egocentric reasons for China making this such an issue. Maybe someone could enlighten me a little more.
I hope that Condoleeza Rice has a different view on Taiwan than Colin Powell.
Powell, according to a State Department transcript, told Hong Kong's Phoenix Television, Taiwan "does not enjoy sovereignty as nation" and "that remains our policy, our firm policy." (The China Post, 12/28/04.)
I recommend you to read my post, REFERENDUM IN TAIWAN ON 03/20/04, and check out "Common Misconceptions about Taiwan" at TaiwanDC.org (New Taiwan - Ilha Formosa).