Vol. 2, Issue 39, November 23, 2004
China Secretly Towing Taiwan Closer to Mainland
Taiwan has expressed outrage and dismay over the realization that a secret Chinese program has successfully brought the island nation several miles closer to the mainland.
Dr. Lee Yuan-tseh, president of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top state research institute, made the grim announcement to the Taiwanese government over the weekend following an investigation into a pattern of perplexing navigation errors plaguing shipping vessels.
"Many vessels had reported in the last six months that the position of Taiwan did not seem to correspond to their nautical charts anymore," Lee told reporters assembled outside the nation's capital. "We never imagined the cause would be so diabolical. I would much rather have found out that all those ship's captains were inebriated instead."
Taiwan has functioned as an independent state since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Although it is not recognized by the United Nations, Taiwan is a major economic force and has received American support, particularly in the form of military equipment, for years. China considers Taiwan a rogue province and has repeatedly threatened to force reunification.
"China is unwilling to face the Taiwanese military, or provoke a confrontation with the United States," said Ernest Huang, an anonymous spokesman for the State Department.. "It may have the largest army on earth, but its naval forces and air force are technically inferior to Taiwan's, and no match for the United States. But this plan is kind of sneaky, I have to say. Didn't see it coming."
Satellite scans have confirmed that Chinese nuclear submarines have attached 147 cables, each over 80 miles long, to the ocean floor about twenty miles off the coast of Taiwan. The cables are connected to giant winches that have slowly been dragging the island towards the mainland. As of this weekend, the width of the Taiwan Strait had been reduced from 111 miles to 96.
China has officially denied that it is attempting to relocate Taiwan, insisting that the two foot thick tempered steel cables are part of a "fishing experiment."
"This completely unjustified accusation on the part of the renegade province Taiwan truly demonstrates the degradation of its society and intellectual capacity of its leaders, caused by the dangerous anarchy of its alleged government," said Hu Yuan, of the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. "How could they believe such a thing of us?"
At the current rate of movement, Taiwan will bump up against the mainland within six months. In an apparent coincidence, China has begun plans to mobilize 500 million troops along the coast at precisely the same time.
"The Administration really doesn't want that to happen," admitted Huang, "but we're divided on how to proceed. There are some in favor of bombing the cables or attaching big rockets to Taiwan to move it the other direction. But I think we'll probably just be giving Taiwan a pair of 80-foot scissors, and hoping they sort it out for themselves."