China: August 5, 1999

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China's attack on the bizarre Falungong cult appears to have backfired. The Chinese people have reacted with shock that the government would exert such force against a relatively small and harmless (if bizarre) cult, and fear that the government move may have given the cult more credibility. Cult members insist that they have been elevated to a status equal to the government by the attacks. Steve Cole

Chinese Su-27 fighters aimed their fire control radar at Taiwanese Mirage 2000 fighters while both patrolled the waters separating China and Taiwan. The Mirages withdrew, defusing a potential battle. At the same time, China warned the U.S. Congress that any attempt to support Taiwan in declaring independence would (not could) lead to war.

 

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