Taiwan Taiwan's president shut down the committee responsible for unifying with China Monday, significantly deepening tensions. China blasted the move, saying it will lead to "disaster."
After a one-hour meeting with the National Security Council, President Chen Shui-bian announced he was ending the National Unification Council and doing away with its guidelines, which commit Taiwan to eventual unification with the mainland.
Chen "is determined to push 'Taiwan independence' to create antagonism and conflict within Taiwan and across the strait. It will only bring disaster to Taiwan society," the Chinese Communist Party and government said in a joint statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The United States played down Chen's decision to terminate the committee, with State Department spokesman Adam Ereli saying it "has not been abolished. It's been frozen."
The United States is legally committed to providing Taiwan the means to defend itself against China, and has hinted it may come to its aid if fighting breaks out.