China: PLA Rocket Force issues rally cry with musical promotion
And the superpower’s foreign minister has emphasised China’s absolute refusal to countenance any compromise or concessions with respect to the island. Speaking today in Beijing, Wang Yii urged the Biden administration to roll back what he called former President Trump’s “dangerous practice” of showing support for Taiwan, which China regards as its own territory in accordance with its “One China” policy.
Wang told a news conference during the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature his country’s claim on Taiwan was an “insurmountable red line”.
He added: “The Chinese government has no room for compromise or concessions on the Taiwan issue.
“We urge the new US administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue.”
US President Joe Biden and China’s leader Xi Jinping
Wang Yi speaking by videolink during today’s event
He urged Mr Biden to “completely change the previous administration’s dangerous practices of ‘crossing the line’ and ‘playing with fire’.”
Wang would not be drawn on what action his country might take if Mr Biden does not reverse course.
However, the Communist Party has vowed to invade if Taiwan, which unlike the mainland operates as a democracy, ever declares formal independence.
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A tank takes part in a Taiwanese military exercise
Under Mr Trump, tensions over the island spiked significantly, especially after two senior officials, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Keith Krach, who served as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, visited last year.
In an apparent response to Mr Krach’s visit, the PLA launched a series of military drills which resulted in 19 Chinese jets crossing the median line which runs along the Taiwan Strait, and which has traditionally been regarded as a de facto maritime border.
Mr Biden is on record as saying he wants to improve US/China relations, but has showed no indicated that he will relax the pressure on trade, technology and human rights.
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Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, said Mr Biden was “playing with fire”
Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s democratically elected President
Ketian Zhang, an Assistant Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, underlined China’s hardline stance on the issue in an interview with Express.co.uk last year.
She said: “I would say the tension surrounding Taiwan has worsened since Trump took office, and the worsening of cross-strait relations is a gradual process.
“China does have a red line, which is that Taiwan should not declare de jure independence.
“If it does so, it is highly likely that China will resort to the use of force.”
China’s military power in numbers
She added: “The Chinese Communist Party’s endgame is eventual unification, preferably peacefully.
“But if Taiwan declares de jure independence, China is highly likely to use force.”
Also speaking last year, Derek Grossman, Senior Defence Analyst at the RAND Corporation specialising in China, told Express.co.uk: “China is increasingly threatening Taiwan with military force.”
Referring to the official visits, he said: “Tensions are certainly worsening, not only because of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s reelection in January 2020 (she does not recognise the ‘1992 Consensus’ upholding ‘One China’), but also because the Trump administration has sent senior level officials to the island in violation, from Beijing’s perspective, of Washington’s One China Policy.
Taiwan and the South China Sea mapped
“These visits are unacceptable for Beijing because they treat Taiwan as a sovereign nation, whereas China has traditionally viewed Taiwan as a renegade province of the mainland.”
He added: “Going forward, I still assess the likelihood that China would seek to invade Taiwan as exceptionally low, but that probability has been ticking up these last few years.
“My main concern is that as US-China competition continues to ramp up and bilateral relations spiral to their lowest point perhaps ever, that Beijing will come to believe that Washington does, in fact, seek to use Taiwan to ‘contain’ China, and thus action is required to reverse the unfavourable trend.
“I certainly don’t think Xi wants war, and neither does Trump, but it will be increasingly difficult for China to sit on the sidelines as US-Taiwan relations reach new heights – primarily with the common goal of pushing back against China.”