July 24, 2019 / 10:54 AM / Updated an hour ago
BEIJING (Reuters) – China warned on Wednesday it was ready for war if there was any move toward Taiwan’s independence, accusing the United States of undermining global stability and denouncing its arms sales to the self-ruled island.
This month, the United States approved sales of weapons requested by Taiwan, including tanks and Stinger missiles, estimated to be worth $2.2 billion.
China responded by saying it would impose sanctions on U.S. firms involved in any deals.
Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news briefing on a defense white paper, the first like it in several years to outline the military’s strategic concerns, that China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification with Taiwan.
“However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end,” Wu said.
Taiwan urges China to renounce the use of force as Beijing warns of war
“If there are people who dare to try to split Taiwan from the country, China’s military will be ready to go to war to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” he said.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said Washington remained committed to a “one-China” policy, under which Washington officially recognizes Beijing and not Taipei, while assisting Taiwan.
He said U.S. arms sales to Taiwan were a consistent policy of multiple U.S. administrations and had contributed to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
“The United States considers any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, of grave concern to the United States,” he added.
The United States is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems a wayward province. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.
While Washington has no formal ties with democratic Taiwan, it is bound by law to help provide it with the means to defend itself.
The Chinese ministry said the United States had “provoked intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defense expenditure … and undermined global strategic stability.”
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said later in a statement that Beijing’s “provocative behavior … seriously violated the peace principle in international laws and relations, challenging regional safety and order”.
“We urge Beijing authorities to renounce irrational, malicious acts such as the use of force, and to improve cross-strait relations and handle issues including Hong Kong rationally, so that it can be a responsible regional member,” it said.
In Beijing, asked how China’s military would handle escalating protest violence in Hong Kong’s widening crisis over a contentious extradition bill, Wu referred only to the territory’s garrison law, which he said “already has a clear stipulation”.
That law states that the Hong Kong government can request the People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) garrison’s assistance to maintain public order.
But legal scholars say it is a very high threshold, and some retired security officials say any involvement by PLAN units in Hong Kong security would shatter the “one country, two systems” formula under which the former British colony returned to China in 1997.
Wu also said reports of a secret pact with Cambodia granting China’s armed forces exclusive access to part of the Southeast Asian nation’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand were “not in accordance with the facts”.
“China and Cambodia have in the past carried out positive exchanges and cooperation on military drills, personnel training and logistics,” he said. “This kind of cooperation does not target any third party.”
Reporting by Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Yimou Lee in Taipei and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Nick Macfie and Peter Cooney
Source: Reuters “China warns of war in case of move toward Taiwan independence”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
China’s major official media Global Times describes the pressures China may put on Taiwan to punish the pro-independence DPP administration in Taiwan in its editorial titled “Taiwan risks full ‘diplomatic’ isolation under DPP rule”.
The editorial says that China may cut Taiwan’s the remaining diplomatic ties with 21 countries, cause Taiwan to lose qualification to attend international activities and lobby countries not to host Taiwan offices.
China will put an end to the peaceful exchanges across Taiwan Strait. In addition, China may use military force to punish those who advocate independence.
The editorial says, “Although the mainland will suffer some losses as well, it can withstand them. The mainland public is fed up with appeasing Taiwan endlessly and is ready to smash independent forces.”
This is blatant military threat. However, China’s threat is no limited to words. It is coupled with deeds in sending fighter jets and aircraft carrier to cruise around Taiwan and showcasing its new air-cushioned landing crafts.
In its report on December 27, PLA website 81.cn posted the photos on top of PLA’s recent landing drill with coordination of its advanced air-cushioned landing crafts (LCACs) and the Kunlun Shan landing platform dock (LPD).
The report says China now has a new Zubr-class LCAC in addition to the existing four. China has imported 4 Zubrs from Ukraine, two installed in Ukraine and two, in China as China wants to have the technology to make such LCACs on its own. The fifth Zubr must be made by China on its own. With such ability, China will make as many Zubrs as necessary for taking Taiwan by force.
Zubrs have strong loading capacity, high speed and very long range. They are so advanced as to be able to conduct surprise attack from hundreds of nautical miles away and land on 70% of the coast in the world. Old conventional LCACs are short-ranged and can only land on 15% of the coast in the world.
What about US intervention when China takes Taiwan by force?
The editorial says, “The mainland, rather than the US, has become the sole force to dominate the situation in the Taiwan Straits.”
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on 81.cn’s report “Navy air-cushioned landing crafts rushed on beach to land on it”, summary of which is provided here by Chan Kai Yee and Global Times’ editorial “Taiwan risks full ‘diplomatic’ isolation under DPP rule”, full text of which is reblogged below:
Taiwan risks full ‘diplomatic’ isolation under DPP rule
Source: Global Times Published: 2016/12/26 23:58:39
China and Sao Tome and Principe resumed diplomatic ties on Monday, less than a week since this African island nation broke relations with Taiwan. Gambia, another African country, resumed ties with China three years after cutting off relations with Taiwan. This is a warning Beijing has sent to the administration of Tsai Ing-wen. Within Taiwan, there is also speculation that Beijing and the Vatican are in close touch regarding establishing diplomatic ties.
Tsai will head to four Central American countries with a stopover in the US in January. Taiwan public opinion has been worried about the possibility that a particular country may break ties with Taiwan before Tsai’s departure, a huge embarrassment she will suffer.
If the Tsai administration continues to deviate from the one-China principle, which prompts the Chinese mainland to block Taiwan’s diplomacy, the remaining 21 countries with which Taiwan holds diplomatic ties will all follow Sao Tome during the rule of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), leaving Taiwan completely isolated.
While the DPP wants to prove that Taiwan is an independent and sovereign country, the mainland should make it realize what Taiwan really is. Taiwan authorities feel degraded about taking part in international events under the banner of “Chinese Taipei,” but it may risk losing even that qualification to attend international activities.
Currently, Taiwan can set up representative offices in other countries. But if Taiwan independence forces do not stop, Beijing can lobby these countries not to host Taiwan offices.
The mainland can resort to military means. In addition, it can consider plans to single out advocators behind Taiwan independence and exert punishment. These two options will wield more deterrence and be more efficient.
Since the DPP refuses to admit the 1992 Consensus and colludes with the US and Japan to break the status quo of cross-Straits relations, they have to take the blame for the end of peaceful exchanges between the two sides and bear the consequences.
This perhaps is a period of chaos Taiwan and the mainland have to go through before they embark on the path of unification. Although the mainland will suffer some losses as well, it can withstand them. The mainland public is fed up with appeasing Taiwan endlessly and is ready to smash independent forces.
Once the Taiwan Straits runs into trouble, the independence forces will lose ground. DPP authorities should be made to realize that they have no mandate to rule the island with Taiwan-independence thinking.
The mainland, rather than the US, has become the sole force to dominate the situation in the Taiwan Straits. If Taiwan authorities willingly become a pawn of the US and confront the mainland, they will only face a dead end. This is perhaps our last fight to eradicate Taiwan independence forces.