Military clash `unlikely'

Caracas (Reuter) - The United States Defense Secretary William Perry said yesterday he did not believe there would be a military conflict as a result of Chinese war games near Taiwan.

"I believe the Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait will not lead to a military conflict," Mr Perry told a news conference during a two-day official visit to Venezuela. Liu Huaqing, Peking's top general and vice-chairman of the Communist Party's powerful Central Military Commission, was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying China would "neither invade any other country nor join in the arms race when it lays claim to a greater national strength in the future".