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    China-Taiwan war expected within two years


    SYDNEY

    The heated rhetoric between China and Taiwan could see tensions break out into military action within two years, an analyst has warned.

    As it is, some multinational companies, fearing the prospect of war, are firming up their emergency evacuation plans, Mr Michael Boyden, a business adviser to multinationals in Taiwan, told Radio Australia on Friday.

    Likening the increasing intensity of cross-strait rhetoric to the 'boiling frog syndrome' - whereby a frog, oblivious to the steady rise in temperature, gets cooked alive - he warned that the situation, if left unchecked, could lead to military strikes.

    'The pressure upon the Chinese government from the military establishment to let them sort the situation out, I think, is getting noticeably stronger,' said Mr Boyden, who is the managing director of Taiwan Asia Strategy Consulting.

    'And unfortunately, the Taiwan issue has been coming into play in the apparent competition for influence between Jiang Zemin, the former president, and Hu Jintao, the present one.'

    Without any serious attempt at some compromise resolution, cross-strait tension would likely deteriorate to 'a point where China has to demonstrate its resolve in some way', he said.

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