The Chinese military announced today that it has conducted maneuvers near Taiwan as a “warning against the plot between separatist forces and the United States” after President Joe Biden said he would intervene militarily if Beijing tries to take the island by force.
“This is a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) patrol around Taiwan with the aim of combat readiness and both maritime and air training exercises,” Col. Shi Yi, spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement today.
Shi noted that the exercises are “a solemn warning against the recent collusion between the U.S. and ‘Taiwanese separatist forces’.”
“It is hypocritical and useless for the U.S. to take actions completely opposite to its words and frequently embolden the ‘Taiwanese separatist forces’. All these acts of the U.S. will only lead to a dangerous situation and have serious consequences for themselves,” he stressed.
“Taiwan is part of China. PLA troops have the determination and capability to thwart interference from any outside forces or secessionist attempts. We will firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security, as well as peace and stability in the region,” the spokesman stressed.
On Monday, China reacted harshly to Biden’s statements, who said from Japan that his country remains committed to defending Taiwan, implying that it would intervene militarily in the event of a potential Chinese invasion of the island, which Beijing considers an “inalienable” part of its territory.
Last October, China and the United States had a similar disagreement over Taiwan after Biden announced an explicit commitment to defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion, to which Beijing demanded that he stop sending “wrong signals.”
China insists on “reunifying” the People’s Republic with the island, which has been governed autonomously since the Kuomintang Nationalists (KMT) retreated there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the Communists and continued with the Republic of China regime, which culminated in the transition to democracy in the 1990s.
Since then, however, there have been growing calls for Taiwan to declare independence as a sovereign state.
This irritates Beijing, whose rhetoric has not stopped inflaming since the accession to power of the current Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016, and insists that “reunification will be achieved.”
The island is also one of the major sources of conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its biggest military ally in the event of a military conflict with China.
Both countries seem to be pushing to the limit the status quo created in 1979 when Washington recognized Beijing as the only Chinese government with the understanding that Taiwan would have a peaceful future.
The Taiwan Relations Act of that year does not guarantee that the United States will intervene militarily if the People’s Republic of China attacks the island, but it does not rule it out either.