China Punishes Taiwan

China, which was angered by Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui's recent high-profile visit to the U.S., has suddenly decided to take out its wrath on the island. China's leaders have suspended negotiations on improving relations with Taiwan. That helped to send the Taiwan Stock Exchange plummeting to a 15-month low. Tai-wanese executives are now complaining that they are experiencing unusual hassles at Chinese customs, and they also fret that Taiwan's plan to allow direct shipping across the Taiwan straits--which has already been stalled for more than a month--could face further setbacks.

Taiwan's largest investors in China are leaning on the government to cool things down. Many have been spooked by a popular book entitled T Day, which prophesies a mainland invasion as early as August, 1995. But still more tension may be on the way. The Nationalist government in Taiwan is readying a new drive for U.N. membership--another hot button for Beijing.

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