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China reaffirms threat of military force to annex Taiwan

In the midst of menacing military drills that have brought tensions between the two sides to their highest point in years, China reiterated its threat on Wednesday to use military force to subjugate self-governing Taiwan.

Following almost a week of missile launches and intrusions by Chinese warships and air force aircraft into Taiwanese seas and airspace, the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office and its news section released a statement.

The moves have caused delays on ships and aircraft in an area that is essential to global supply lines, drawing vehement condemnation from the United States, Japan, and other countries.

Beijing will “operate with the greatest sincerity and do our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification,” according to an English-language translation of the Chinese statement.

“However, we reserve the right to adopt all necessary measures and will not forsake the use of force. This is to prevent all separatist actions and outside intervention, according to the statement.

“We will always be prepared to counteract meddling from outside forces or radical action from separatist groups with the use of force or other necessary methods. Our ultimate objective is to accelerate this process and increase the likelihood of a peaceful reunification of China, the statement stated.

China claims that the threatening actions are in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, but Taiwan claims that Pelosi’s visit is normal and that China just exploited that as an excuse to escalate its threats.

In addition, China said that it was ceasing communication with the United States, Taiwan’s main military and political ally, on matters ranging from maritime security to climate change in retaliation to Pelosi’s visit.

Tuesday, Taiwan’s foreign minister issued a warning that China’s military exercises show a desire to dominate wide portions of the western Pacific, while Taipei held its own drills to demonstrate its readiness to protect itself.

According to Joseph Wu, Beijing would use the Taiwan Strait to dominate the East and South China Seas and impose a blockade to stop the United States and its allies from supporting Taiwan in the event of an invasion.

Beijing has continued the drills without declaring a deadline for their conclusion.

The 23 million residents of Taiwan, which split off from the mainland in 1949 due to civil war, are largely opposed to formal unification with China and instead favor maintaining strong economic ties and the country’s de facto independence.

China has gotten closer to Taiwan’s boundaries via its actions, and it may be trying to create a new normal where it will eventually be able to restrict access to the island’s ports and airspace.

The biggest supporter of Taipei, the United States, has also demonstrated a willingness to confront Chinese threats. In deference to Beijing, Washington has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it is obligated by law to guarantee that the island can defend itself and to consider any threats against it with the utmost seriousness.

That raises the question of whether the United States would send troops if China invaded Taiwan. President of the United States Joe Biden has stated repeatedly that the United States is required to take this action, although staff employees have soon retracted such statements.

In addition to the geopolitical risks, a protracted crisis in the Taiwan Strait, a crucial route for international trade, could have a significant impact on global supply chains at a time when the world is already experiencing disruptions and uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine.

Taiwan is a key supplier of computer chips to the world economy, particularly to China’s high-tech industries.

Taiwan has alerted its soldiers in reaction to the drills, but has so far refrained from actively retaliating.

On its southeast coast, in Pingtung County, its military conducted live-fire artillery training on Tuesday.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper is a global reporter for TheOptic, focusing on bringing insights and developments for global and local breaking news daily. With almost seven years of experience covering topics from all over the world, Brian strives to make sure you stay up-to-date with what's going on in the world.
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