China Renewed Threat to Attack Taiwan, Warns Foreign Politicians “Playing with Fire
China has once again threatened to attack Taiwan and warned foreign politicians who interact with the self-governing island that they are “playing with fire.” A spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang, said on Wednesday that Beijing is recommitted in the new year to “safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “smashing plots for Taiwan independence.”
China views Taiwan, which separated from mainland China in 1949, as Chinese territory that must be brought under Beijing’s control, by force if necessary. “The malicious support for Taiwan independence among anti-China elements in a few foreign countries are a deliberate provocation,” Ma Xiaoguang said at a biweekly news conference. “We call on the relevant countries to … cease sending the wrong signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces and cease playing with fire on the question of Taiwan,” he added.
China’s state-run Global Times newspaper tweeted the Taiwan Affairs Office warning that Taiwan’s “‘secession’ is doomed to fail” and that Taiwan’s independence “is an act waiting to be punished.” High-profile visits to Taiwan in recent months by foreign politicians, including then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and numerous politicians from the European Union, have angered Beijing and spurred large military exercises around the island by Chinese forces, which Taipei views as a rehearsal for invasion.
The Taiwan question is China’s own business and any attempt to split Taiwan from China will not succeed. “Taiwan secession” is doomed to fail, and relying on foreign forces to seek “independence” is an act waiting to be punished: Taiwan Affairs Office pic.twitter.com/o4IL60USWn
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 11, 2023
At the end of December, China sent a record 71 planes and seven ships towards Taiwan – the largest such exercise in 2022, these move is being seen as a sign of Beijing’s growing impatience with Taipei. This week, Taiwan’s military is staging its own military drills to reassure the public of its ability to counter China’s threats. “The most important thing is to maintain the safety of our airspace and national security,” air force Lieutenant Colonel Wu Bong-yeng told reporters at Hsinchu Air Base just south of the capital, Taipei.
The defense drills coincided with a visit to Taiwan by German and Lithuanian legislators, and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the visit demonstrated Berlin’s support for the island. Leading the 10-person German delegation, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmerman who is also the Bundestag’s defense committee chairperson, said Russia’s war in Ukraine necessitated the visit to Taiwan as it was “a huge wake-up call” not only for Europe and Germany but also for the whole world. “That’s the reason why we come to your country,” she said.
The German and Lithuanian legislators’ visit to Taiwan marked an unusual move that is likely to infuriate Beijing. China has been increasingly assertive in international relations and aggressive in its stance towards Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province that needs to be reunited with the mainland. China has not ruled out the use of force to achieve this goal.
A warm welcome to the @Bundestag delegation led by @MAStrackZi & @johannesvogel. #Taiwan looks forward to deepening our partnerships with #Germany & other like-minded countries, as we stand in solidarity behind our shared values of human rights, freedom & democracy. pic.twitter.com/HH5Minyj8g
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) January 10, 2023
The tension between China and Taiwan has been escalating over the past few months. In September 2020, the United States sent two aircraft carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, through the Taiwan Strait, an act that angered China. In response, China conducted military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, and has increased its military presence in the region. In November 2020, the Chinese Government approved a national security law for Taiwan, which criminalized activities that it deemed as separatist, such as supporting Taiwan’s independence or seeking foreign interference in Taiwan’s affairs.
The international community is increasingly worried about the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, which has the potential to lead to a full-blown conflict in the region. The United States, Japan, and Australia have been increasingly vocal in their support for Taiwan, while countries such as Canada, the UK and Germany are also showing support for Taiwan. The European Union has also voiced concerns over the rising tensions in the region.
The international community’s support for Taiwan is seen as a direct challenge to China’s territorial integrity and its One-China policy. In recent years, China has taken several steps to isolate Taiwan diplomatically and to limit its international presence. China has been successful in convincing several countries to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, and has also pressured companies and international organizations to refer to Taiwan as “Taipei” or “Chinese Taipei” instead of “Taiwan.”
In addition to diplomatic and economic pressure, China has also stepped up its military presence in the region. In recent years, China has been increasing its military spending, and has been modernizing its armed forces. It has also been building artificial islands in the South China Sea, which has raised concerns among the international community. In addition, China has been increasingly assertive in its stance towards Taiwan, and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goal of reuniting Taiwan with the mainland.
The escalating tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concerns about the potential for a full-blown conflict in the region, which could have serious implications for the international community. The United States, Japan, and Australia have been increasing their military presence in the region, and have been vocal in their support for Taiwan. Other countries, such as Canada, the UK and Germany have also been showing support for Taiwan. The European Union has also voiced concerns over the rising tensions in the region.
In conclusion, the recent renewed threat from China to attack Taiwan and warning foreign politicians who interact with Taiwan is an alarming development. The international community should closely monitor the situation and provide support for Taiwan to ensure that its sovereignty is protected. Furthermore, the recent military build-up of China in the region should be watched closely and nations should be prepared for any potential consequences that may arise. Any form of military action would have far-reaching consequences, therefore all parties should make every effort to avoid an escalation of tensions and instead engage in peaceful dialogue to resolve the issue.