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16 Dec, 2016 14:37

China must be ready to take Taiwan by force – Beijing state media on Trump’s One China stance

China must be ready to take Taiwan by force – Beijing state media on Trump’s One China stance

The Chinese government should be prepared to seize Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade state, by force before the new US administration “activates the Taiwan card” to dictate terms in mutual relations, Beijing’s unofficial mouthpiece has stated.

“The Chinese mainland should display its resolution to recover Taiwan by force,” the Communist party-owned Chinese newspaper Global Times wrote earlier this week. Calling recent comments by US President-elect Donald Trump and his supporters regarding Taiwan and one-China policy a “farce,” the editorial stressed that China is now forced to be “vigilant” and forestall any potential US actions regarding the matter with their own actions.

“It might be time for the Chinese mainland to reformulate its Taiwan policy, make the use of force as a main option and carefully prepare for it.” 

“If the Chinese mainland won’t pile on more pressure over realizing reunification by using force, the chance of peaceful unification will only slip away. Independent forces on the island publicly believe that time is on their side… they can turn the tables with the help of international forces. The future of Taiwan must not be shaped by… Washington,” the article stated.

China has been angered by recent statements coming from Trump and his camp regarding China and Taiwan. Since the 1970s, the global community has been communicating with the two under the “One China” arrangement, which states that countries can maintain formal diplomatic relations with either China or Taiwan, but not both. The rift between the two has existed since the Communists won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, defeating the Nationalists who fled to Taiwan.

Afterwards, both Beijing and Taipei claimed sovereignty over China, but within several years the majority of countries chose to recognize the Beijing government as the official authority of China. The US established formal relations with China in 1979.

Although it has informal ties with Taiwan, interacts with it commercially, and even sells it weapons, the leaders of the two states have not communicated directly for 40 years.
Last week, however, Trump had a phone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the first such contact since 1979. 

Last Sunday on Fox News, he also called into question the need for the US to maintain formal relations with Beijing instead of Taiwan, stressing, “I fully understand the ‘one China policy,’ but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China policy’ unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”

Trump often targeted China during his election campaign, accusing it of costing the US millions of jobs through its trade policies.

His recent rhetoric, however, met defiance in Beijing, which responded with scathing editorials in the Chinese media. Trump was labeled a “diplomatic rookie,” “provoking friction and messing up China-US relations,” who overestimates his country’s power by angering the world’s second-largest economy. 

Officially, Beijing was less vocal, but it did describe the One China principle as the “political bedrock” of relations between the two countries.

“We urge the incoming US administration and its leaders to fully recognize the sensitivity of the Taiwan question [and] to properly deal with Taiwan-related matters in a prudent manner so as not to disrupt or damage the overall interests of the bilateral relationship,” China’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

Beijing also called on Washington to ban the Taiwanese president from visiting the United States during her trip next month to South America. China and Taiwan have seen a renewed strain in relations, with Beijing suspicious of Taiwan’s first female president, elected earlier this year, of seeking independence for Taiwan, while Beijing continues to treat the island as one of its provinces.

“The military status quo across the Taiwan Straits needs to be reshaped as a response and punishment to the current administration of [Tsai],” the Global Times wrote, warning that Beijing should solve the “Taiwan question” before Trump’s team takes over and proceeds to “utilize the one-China policy as leverage to blackmail Beijing.”

“It is possible for Washington to activate the Taiwan card in a crude manner at any moment. The tacit understanding and hidden rules made between China and the US over the Taiwan Straits can hardly be respected for long. Even the one-China policy can be attacked unexpectedly. That mirrors the fact that we are far from able to control the destructiveness of the Taiwan question.”

While he did not mention Trump’s Taiwan comments, China’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said on Wednesday that China would never allow issues involving its national sovereignty or territorial integrity to be a “bargaining chip” in US-China relations.

“Basic norms of international relations should be observed, not ignored, certainly not be seen as something you can trade off.” 

“And indeed, national sovereignty and territorial integrity are not bargaining chips. Absolutely not. I hope everybody would understand that,” Tiankai told reporters, as cited by Reuters.