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China Stops Its Military Exercises Near Taiwan But Continues Its “War Preparations”

Story Highlights
  • The white paper released on Wednesday also misrepresented foreign governments' "One China" policy and accused the US and Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party of inciting "separatist" elements.
  • The document was probably timed to coincide with the military training, according to Dr. Lin Ying-yu of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies.

Beijing has stated that its military exercises around Taiwan are over, but added that additional “training and war preparation” will continue.

It made the declaration immediately after restating its intention to use force against Taiwan if it was unable to seize control “peacefully” in a significant policy paper.

According to state media, a spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command said on Wednesday afternoon that the drills had gone well and had “effectively tested the integrated joint combat capabilities of the troops.”

In the statement, it was promised to keep an eye on the Taiwan Strait, frequently patrol the area, and always be prepared for battle.

Following Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began conducting live-fire military drills in seven sizable zones that are immediately adjacent to Taiwan’s main island.

Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, charged China on Tuesday with exploiting the military exercises to get ready for an invasion. Pelosi defended her trip on Wednesday, saying it was “absolutely” worthwhile.

Pelosi said “we cannot enable the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan.” “They won’t specify who may travel to Taiwan.”

Taiwan is regarded by the CCP administration as a province that broke away from China. It reaffirmed its intention to conquer Taiwan with force in a white paper distributed through state media on Wednesday morning if diplomatic measures were fruitless.

The official English-language version of the agreement stated, “We shall cooperate with the greatest sincerity and do our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunion.” But we maintain the right to use all necessary measures and we won’t give up using force.

The official report, titled The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era, said that “We should not allow this dilemma to be passed down from one generation to the next” but did not provide a date.

According to the statement, using force would only be an option if there were no other options and “fellow Chinese in Taiwan” were not the target.

The document stated, “This is to prevent any outside influence and all separatist operations.” Additionally, it asserted that only through unification would Taiwan be protected from foreign invasion.

After one in 1993 and another in 2000, it was the state council’s third document on Taiwan to be published. After “unification,” it reportedly withdrew a pledge made in the previous two documents “not to send soldiers or administrative staff to be based in Taiwan.”

The paper published on Wednesday reaffirmed Beijing’s intention to rule Taiwan initially under the “one country, two systems” framework and cited Hong Kong as evidence of the “resounding success” of the strategy following “appropriate improvements” to the crackdown following the 2019 protest movement.

The recent crackdown on Hong Kong and the implementation of Beijing’s national security law have played a significant role in the overwhelming opposition to CCP rule among Taiwanese citizens. The handling of Hong Kong was a key issue in Tsai Ing-presidential wen’s campaign, which she won handily.

The white paper released on Wednesday also misrepresented foreign governments’ “One China” policy and accused the US and Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party of inciting “separatist” elements. It claimed that only through unity could Taiwan be protected from foreign invasion.

It warned that secession would lead to tragedy for the island and send Taiwan into the depths of the ocean.

The document was probably timed to coincide with the military training, according to Dr. Lin Ying-yu of Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies. After the sabre-rattling, Lin claimed, “they verbally intimidate.” They want to polarise opinions and elicit various responses from Taiwanese people.

The paper, according to Dr. Mark Harrison, a senior lecturer in Chinese studies at the University of Tasmania, demanded that Taiwanese people give up their long-standing demands for democracy and sovereignty, which they have held since Japanese colonisation in the early 20th century, before the People’s Republic of China existed.

“The references to Beijing’s willingness to employ ‘all necessary means’ in the conclusion and its identification of’separatist elements or external forces’ is a troubling hint of the justifications it is prepared to use to justify military action against Taiwan,” said Harrison.

At a national press club event on Wednesday afternoon, Xiao Qian, China’s ambassador to Australia, appeared to be the first Chinese official to be questioned by journalists about the white paper. When asked what constituted a “compelling scenario” justifying the use of force, Xiao declined to comment, telling listeners to “use your imagination” to determine what “all necessary means” meant.

Xiao was questioned over remarks made by his fellow ambassador in France, who said that Taiwan’s citizens will be “reeducated” following annexation. The remark raised concerns since it seemed to support Beijing’s initiatives to “re-educate” Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Although Xiao said he was unaware of any official Taiwanese policies governing reeducation, he indicated that from his own personal experience, “if Taiwan is reunited… there might be a procedure for the people in Taiwan to have a true understanding of China, about the motherland.”

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