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Zero tolerance to secession moves
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China's mainland yesterday strongly warned Taipei against its intensified push for "Taiwan independence," saying the mainland will resort to necessary measures to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said it is the "most important and imperative" mission for compatriots across the Taiwan Straits to oppose and curb secessionist moves.

"We will resort to necessary measures if the secessionist forces went their own way and take the risk of 'Taiwan independence'," he told a regular press conference.

The spokesman was commenting on Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's attempt to pursue "de jure independence" through "constitutional" changes and hold a referendum to join the United Nations under the name Taiwan.

Beijing considers all these moves major steps toward formal "independence" by the island.

Yang also warned that Beijing would severely deal with any spying attempt aimed at harming the Chinese mainland.

The spokesman said Taiwan's intelligence agencies have been spying on the mainland through the Internet over the past few years, which "has resulted in serious consequences".

"Any activity which causes damage to the mainland will be investigated and punished according to the law," he said.

His warning came in response to a question about an alleged pursuit of a Taiwan spy who had reportedly hacked the computers of many mainland departments.

The Global Times, a newspaper affiliated to the People's Daily, reported on Monday that the mainland police are hunting for Lee Fang-rong, a Taiwan military intelligence agent.

Citing an unidentified official, the newspaper said that there are growing numbers of Internet spies who are stealing national secrets.

Lee had carried out large-scale activities aiming to infiltrate the computer network and steal classified information from governments, military and national defense institutions, the report said, adding Lee had returned to the island from Moscow, where he was reportedly stationed.

(China Daily November 1, 2007)

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