June 1, 2019 / 5:19 PM
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The United States’ actions on Taiwan and the South China Sea are hardly conducive to maintaining stability in the region, a senior Chinese military official said on Saturday, responding to comments by acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
“He (Shanahan) has been expressing inaccurate views and repeating old tunes about the issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea,” Shao Yuanming, a senior official of the People’s Liberation Army, told reporters after Shanahan’s speech.
“This is harming regional peace and stability.”
Shao added that China would defend its sovereignty at any cost should anyone try to separate Taiwan from its territory. It views the self-ruled island as a wayward province and has not ruled out the use of force to return it to the fold.
“China will have to be reunified,” Shao said. “If anybody wants to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will protect the country’s sovereignty at all costs.”
China translates the Chinese word “tong yi” (This blogger’s note: The word is one word tongyi not two words tong yi in Chinese. Reunification is the reunification of China as Taiwan is a part of China for a long time in Chinese history. It has nothing to do whether China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party or KMT or anyone else) as “reunification”, but it can also be translated as “unification”, a term in English preferred by Taiwan independence supporters who say the Communist government has never ruled the island, so it cannot be “reunified”.
Earlier, Shanahan told delegates at a defense forum in Singapore that the United States would no longer “tiptoe” around Chinese behavior in Asia, with stability in the region at threat on issues ranging from the South China Sea to Taiwan.
Shanahan did not directly name China when he spoke of “actors” destabilizing the region, but went on to say the United States would not ignore Chinese behavior.
However, Shao responded by saying it was the United States that was destabilizing the region with its recent actions.
In May, a U.S. warship sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea, angering Beijing at a time of tension over trade between the world’s two biggest economies.
(This story has been refiled to correct the spelling of Shanahan in paragraph 2)
Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore
Source: Reuters “China says U.S. actions on Taiwan, South China Sea threaten stability”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Phil Stewart January 16, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is closely watching Chinese intentions toward Taiwan, concerned that Beijing’s growing military prowess may increase the risk it could one day consider bringing the self-ruled island under its control by force, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.
The senior U.S. defense intelligence official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not predict that China’s military, known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), would take such a step but said such a possibility was the top worry as China expands and modernizes its military capabilities.
“The biggest concern is that … they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities,” the official said, referring to China’s president.
Pressed on whether the official was referring to Chinese confidence in its capabilities to be able to successfully win a battle with Taiwan, the official said, “Well, specifically that would be the most concerning to me.”
Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war between the countries, U.S. sanctions on the Chinese military, and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.
However, in meetings with Pentagon leaders, PLA officials have long described Taiwan as China’s most sensitive issue.
China has repeatedly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills in the past few years and worked to isolate the island internationally, whittling down its few remaining diplomatic allies.
It has also strongly objected to U.S. warship passages through the Taiwan Strait this year, and issued a terse warning about Taiwan after talks in Beijing on Tuesday with the U.S. Navy’s top officer, Admiral John Richardson.
‘WHATEVER IT TAKES’
In the talks, Chinese General Li Zuocheng, chief of China’s Central Military Commission Joint Staff Department, stressed that Taiwan was “China’s internal affairs” and that Beijing would allow “no external interference.”
“If someone tries to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will do whatever it takes to safeguard national reunification, national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to an English-language statement here by China’s defense ministry on the talks.
Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island’s main source of arms. The Pentagon says Washington has sold Taiwan more than $15 billion in weaponry since 2010.
Xi has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became president in 2016.
On Jan. 2, Xi said in a speech that China reserved the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but would strive to achieve peaceful “reunification.”
Still, the U.S. defense intelligence official cautioned against over-reacting, noting Xi could believe he has plenty of time to achieve reunification with Taiwan.
The official also cautioned that China’s military still faced gaps in its capabilities.
“They could order them to go today, but I don’t think they’re particularly confident in that capability,” the official said.
Also on Tuesday, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report describing Taiwan as the “primary driver” for China’s military modernization, which it said had made major advances in recent years.
U.S. defense officials have become particularly alarmed about China’s advances in super-fast “hypersonic” technology, which could allow it to field missiles that are far harder to detect.
“The result … is a PLA on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world,” the report said here
Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Will Dunham and James Dalgleish
Source: Reuters “U.S. eyes Taiwan risk as China’s military capabilities grow”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Lucas Niewenhuis February 22, 2018
Earlier this week, it was reported that the U.S. is seriously pursuing a deepened security and economic partnership with Australia, Japan, and India in order to counter Beijing’s influence in the Asia-Pacific, or “Indo-Pacific,” region.
It’s increasingly clear that part of the new U.S. strategy involves reinforcing, if not going so far as to officially deepen, U.S.-Taiwan relations. Here are the signs:
- A 19-member congressional delegation is visiting Taiwan from the U.S. to express its “love for Taipei,” the Taipei Times reports. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with the delegation and thanked the Americans “for all they have done for Taiwan,” according to Taiwan News.
- Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma and the second-ranking member of his party on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, led the delegation. The New York Times received (paywall) a statement from the senator:
“With China becoming more aggressive and intent on expanding its influence globally, the United States-Taiwan security relationship is now more important than ever… By ensuring they have the ability to defend themselves, Taiwan will continue to be an important part of promoting regional stability.”
- In January, the House of Representatives in the U.S. passed a bill called the “Taiwan Travel Act,” which if it were to become law would “pave the way for high-level Taiwanese officials to visit the United States and meet U.S. officials, including those from the state and defense departments,” the South China Morning Post reports.
- An arms sale forum between the U.S. and Taiwan is set to be held in Taiwan, rather than America, for the first time this May, according to the SCMP. Initially, the forum had been identified as the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, which is held annually in the U.S., but organizers clarified that this forum is separate and not equivalent.
- The American Institute in Taiwan, an organization that coordinates contact between U.S. and Taiwan government representatives, is set to upgrade its facilities in Taipei in June. The New York Times comments that “the unanswered question is how senior an American official might attend” the groundbreaking.
Other new tests for the Taiwan-mainland China relationship:
- Taiwanese officials are on high alert about a potential breakthrough in Vatican-Beijing relations, which would sideline Taipei.
- Activists are furious about the wife of Lee Ming-che 李明哲 being unable to visit him while he is jailed in China, allegedly in part for posts he made on Facebook.
- China’s reunification dream will remain out of reach as long as Taiwanese feel they don’t belong, says Wang Chi 王冀, president of the U.S.-China Policy Foundation.
Source: SubChina “U.S. reinforces its relationship with Taiwan as part of a pushback on Beijing’s influence”
Note: This is SubChina’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Global Times Published: 2017/12/10 22:43:42
The minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Li Kexin, said Friday that he had told US lawmakers that the day US Navy vessels arrive in Kaohsiung will be the day the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unifies Taiwan by force. His remarks have triggered an uproar in Taiwan, with protests from its “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” and Mainland Affairs Council.
Obviously frightened, the Taiwan authorities’ reaction indicates they care about Li’s words and lack faith in their invisible movement toward Taiwan’s independence.
After the US Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018 in September, which enables naval vessels of Taiwan and the US to pay mutual visits, Taiwan authorities have been both delighted and dubious about the bill.
The island under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has become deficient of both direction and sense of security.
The Chinese mainland has never given up the option of Taiwan reunification by force, which is clear to people across the Taiwan Straits. But Taiwan is not sure what will prompt the PLA’s actions while the DPP has been deceiving Taiwanese that the island will stay safe whatever it does.
Taiwan knows so little of the mainland’s Anti-Secession Law. The DPP is already approaching the boundary of the law and leading Taiwan to a wrong direction. The sustainability of the island’s development remains uncertain.
Li’s words have sent a warning to Taiwan and drew a clear red line. If Taiwan attempts to hold an independence referendum or other activities in pursuit of de jure “Taiwan independence,” the PLA will undoubtedly take action.
This is the cornerstone of Beijing’s policy on Taiwan that can’t be shaken and also the will of the entire Chinese nation.
It shouldn’t be underestimated, otherwise, Taiwan’s laissez-faire attitude will allow the DPP to make fatal mistakes.
After all, the mainland’s determination to prevent Taiwan from gaining independence far outweighs the DPP’s and overrides the US’ play of the Taiwan card. The mainland has the military strength and strategic will to defy any challenge.
Li’s words are like warning bells on Taiwan authorities considering independence by a salami-slicing strategy. Taiwan is facing what Peking faced in 1949 – being encircled by mainland forces. Any move that oversteps the boundary will be in vain.
The mainland certainly wants a peaceful reunification with Taiwan. But if Taiwan authorities brazenly defy the Anti-Secession Law, using force will be the only choice regardless of cost.
Taiwan authorities are playing a ridiculous trick to run counter to the trend of history. They should avoid misjudging the current situation and refrain from making the worst-case scenario happen.
Source: Global Times “A warning to Taiwan-independence forces”
Note: This is Global Times’ op-ed I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the Global Times’ views.
By J.R. Wu | TAIPEI Thu Dec 29, 2016 | 4:56am EST
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will pass through the United States when she visits Latin America next month, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, angering China which urged the United States to block any such stopover.
China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations.
Details of the stopovers will be disclosed before the end of this week, the ministry said.
China said Tsai’s intentions were clear and urged the United States not to let her in.
“We hope the U.S. can abide by the ‘one China’ policy…and not let her pass through their border, not give any false signals to Taiwan independence forces, and through concrete actions safeguard overall U.S. China relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan strait,” Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told a briefing in Beijing.
The transit details are being closely watched as Taiwan media has speculated Tsai will seek to meet President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team ahead of his January 20 inauguration.
Trump angered China when he spoke to Tsai this month in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.
The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is part of it.
China’s sole aircraft carrier, accompanied by several warships, sailed close to Taiwan this week, which followed on from air force exercises also close to Taiwan.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun repeated that the drills were routine, but added that such drills did have Taiwan in mind.
“The military’s holding of exercises is beneficial to raising our ability to oppose Taiwan independence and protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and beneficial to protecting the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and peace and stability there,” he told reporters.
Tsai’s office earlier this month said she would visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador in that order. She will leave Taiwan on Jan. 7 and return on Jan. 15.
Taiwan had as many as 30 diplomatic allies in the mid-1990s, but now has formal relations with just 21, mostly smaller and poorer nations in Latin America and the Pacific and including the Vatican.
The American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy of the United States, had no immediate comment on Tsai’s itinerary.
(Additional reporting by Jake Spring and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Source: Reuters “China warns U.S. against allowing stopover for Taiwan’s Tsai”
Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.