China should plan to take Taiwan by force after Trump call, state media says
BEIJINGChina should plan to take Taiwan by force and make swift preparations for a military incursion, a Communist party-controlled newspaper has said, after U.S. president-elect Donald Trump broke decades of diplomatic protocol in the region.
Before he even assumes the presidency, Trump has called into question the longstanding U.S. foreign policy of maintaining formal relations with Beijing instead of Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province. He also spoke directly with Taiwan’s president, the first such contact since 1979. Both moves have infuriated China.
In response, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid that sometimes reflects views from within the Communist party, said on Dec. 15 that China should rebalance its stance towards Taiwan to “make the use of force as a main option and carefully prepare for it,” The Guardian reported on its website on Dec. 15.
“The Chinese mainland should display its resolution to recover Taiwan by force,” the paper wrote in an editorial. If Taiwan were to declare formal independence, it went on, “the Chinese mainland can in no time punish them militarily.”
On Dec. 14, the Chinese ambassador to the United States said that Beijing would never bargain with Washington over issues involving its national sovereignty or territorial integrity, according to Reuters.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai, speaking to executives of top U.S. companies, said China and the United States needed to work to strengthen their relationship.
“The political foundation of China-U.S. relations should not be undermined. It should be preserved,” Cui said.
“And basic norms of international relations should be observed, not ignored, certainly not be seen as something you can trade off,” he said. “And indeed, national sovereignty and territorial integrity are not bargaining chips. Absolutely not. I hope everybody would understand that.”
China installs weapons systems on artificial islands
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank, reported Dec. 14 that China appeared to have installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, citing new satellite imagery.
AMTI said its findings came despite statements by the Chinese leadership that Beijing has no intention to militarize the islands in the strategic trade route, where territory is claimed by several countries.
China said on Dec. 14 that, while its construction on islands and reefs in the South China Sea was mainly for civilian use, it was “legitimate and normal” for it to take steps to defend its territory.
AMTI said it had been tracking construction of hexagonal structures on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi reefs in the Spratly Islands since June and July. China has already built military length airstrips on these islands.