China Considering Strong Measures To Contain Taiwan: Report

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen arrives before an interview in Luque, Paraguay, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrives before an interview in Luque, Paraguay, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

“If Trump challenges ‘one China’ after becoming president, this would cross our red line.”

China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said.

Three sources said one possibility being considered was conducting war games near the self-ruled island that China considers as a breakaway province. Another was a series of economic measures to cripple Taiwan.

It was not clear whether any decisions had been taken, but the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Taiwan issue had become a hot topic within the upper echelons of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in recent weeks.

Trump, due to take office on Jan 20, angered Beijing this month by speaking to Taiwan’s president by telephone, breaking decades of precedent and casting doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy. Beijing fears this could embolden supporters of independence in Taiwan.

“If Trump challenges ‘one China’ after becoming president, this would cross our red line,” said another source, who has ties to China’s leadership.

China’s defense ministry declined to comment. An official at the ministry’s news department said China’s position was clearly laid out in the 2005 Anti-Secession Law, which authorizes the use of force against Taiwan in the event China judges it to have seceded.

Asked about any possible aggressive moves from China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-shi said: “We are fully prepared, and plan for the worst while preparing for the best.”

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its sacred and inviolable territory and is deeply suspicious of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose ruling Democratic Progressive Party espouses the island’s independence. Tsai, who took power this year, says she wants to maintain peace with China, but China is unconvinced.

Tsai said on Saturday that Taiwan will be “calm” when facing issues to do with China, but uncertainties next year will test the self-ruled island and its national security team.

Beijing has also been angered by a trip planned by Tsai in January to Latin America in which she will transit through Houston and San Francisco. China has urged the United States to block the stopovers.

Chinese officials have blamed Taiwan for creating trouble rather than Trump, and many of them believe he will be more accommodating to China once in office.

“We’re ready. If Taiwan wants to make trouble so can we. Let’s hit them hard,” said an official in Beijing who meets regularly with China’s most senior military officers, including those who work directly with President Xi Jinping.

“We can hold exercises close to Taiwan, and show them the damage we could cause. Taiwan will have to give in then,” the official added, citing a recent conversation with one of the military officers.


The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, but it’s unclear if the United States would send troops in the event of war between China and Taiwan.

Washington also acknowledges Beijing’s position that there is only one China and Taiwan is its territory.

A retired senior officer who maintains contacts with the PLA told Reuters that China probably wouldn’t need to fire any missiles to bring Taiwan to its knees. China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and Taiwan runs a huge trade surplus with China, worth $27 billion in 2015.

“We can just cut them off economically. No more direct flights, no more trade. Nothing. Taiwan would not last long,” the officer said. “There would be no need for war.”

In addition, any Western economic blockade of China put in place in the event of war with Taiwan would also be damaging to China, already dealing with a slowing economy.

A U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Chinese actions had been more provocative in the past month, since Trump won the U.S. election and made comments about Taiwan.

This month, a Chinese naval flotilla headed by its sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, took part in drills that took it around Taiwan.

Chinese air force jets have performed similar drills in recent weeks, flying close to the island, though China has officially called the air force and naval exercises routine.

China also scored a diplomatic victory when tiny Sao Tome and Principe switched recognition to Beijing from Taiwan.

(Additional reporting by J.R. Wu in Taipei and David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: Huffington Post “China Considering Strong Measures To Contain Taiwan: Report”

Note: This is Huffington Post’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


7 Comments on “China Considering Strong Measures To Contain Taiwan: Report”

  1. Steve says:

    The real cause for disharmony and separation across the Taiwan strait is the DPP and it’s pro independent policy. It is natural for the US to seize such a wonderful opportunity to create schism and chaos in the One China Policy. Isn’t this the natural behaviour of a hegemonic scoundrel.? China need to do something like starving Taiwan’s economy and foreign diplomacy.
    Promoting military drills close to Taiwan shores should be the last resort. It’s too intimidating.


    • Jane says:

      The voters who elected Tsai should be punished. This is best done with economic measures that they can feel in their pocketbooks. They should learn that voting for the wrong candidate has personal consequences.

      Military drills would not punish the voters. If you drill too much, it can even have the wrong effect, as people think you will not actually order them into battle. It is much better to save the military for when it is actually needed.


      • Steve says:

        On the contrary, it is the leadership of the DPP for spreading biased or misleading information to promote their political cause. Such propaganda for independence contains psychological elements of influencing and altering the belief of peoples attitude, either against China or the opposition party. Let’s not forget young voters such as university students are easily hoodwinked by their peers and team leaders. A good example are ISIS influencing university students to join the islamist fundamentalist in the middle east, a one way ticket no return.

        Therefore, voters should not be punished for a misleading cause propagated by scumbag politicians. Voters are like friendship, easily swayed and taking sides. The rule of law says ignorance is no excuse (eg: if u are caught speeding), but in democratic elections, ignorance is a wonderful excuse.

        Agreed, economic measures are best suited to hurt the Taiwanese population to such an extent, that scumbag Tsai may be assassinated, in a worst case scenario. Notwithstanding the above, the opposition party will come to the fore and politically create chaos in the DPP.


    • Handle says:

      From the article: “China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said.”

      In other words China is scared. Trump has taken the first move and fired the first shot to let China know that weak Obama is gone and there is a new sheriff in town. China is now on the defensive


      • Steve says:

        China’s strategy has always being Active Defence and the Chinese people are highly innovative, possess excellent initiatives, self motivated and self reliant. Unlike unreliable India, it’s buy, buy, buy and lose ,lose ,lose. Example, the Indian aircraft carrier after 10 years is still sitting in the dock due to poor construction. U should complain to your PM Modi why Indians are so unreliable. The nation of China, is none of your business, we are highly reliable. Go to your bathroom and play with yourself.


      • johnleecan says:

        China isn’t scared. It’s just China wants you to think they’re scared.

        I’m fact, China is itching to take Taiwan by force but the DPP old maid isn’t taking the bait. Maybe an arrogant Trump can accelerate her declaring independence.

        Even with America’s recognizing the one-China policy and its double standards of selling military supplies to Taiwan, China has very high hope Tsai would declare independence and America will support it so China can now not only take out Taiwan’s military but also destroy American military and hegemony in Asia.


  2. Simon says:

    Correction! Any western blockade against China in the event of a war with Taiwan would be damaging to western economies. They cant stop Russia from bringing Ukraine to its knees the only thind the West can do is impose some sanctions. China is the world banker. Imposing any blockades or sanction against China is liken to you not turning up for work in protest and not being paid. Nobody stays away from work for very long without pay.