China’s Taiwan Affairs Office claimed that “increasing voices” within Communist Party territory support “reunification through military force” with Taiwan to combat “secessionists.”
Taiwan is a sovereign island state off the coast of China. It has never been governed by the People’s Republic of China, so the Chinese use of the terms “reunification” and “secession” are misnomers.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, spokesperson for Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Ma Xiaoguang warned Taiwan to “introspect upon where they want to lead cross-Straits relations” in the coming months and years following the re-election of anti-communist President Tsai Ing-wen.
In a thinly veiled threat, Ma cited the “increasing voices” within China expecting Beijing to step up its efforts to protect the “one China principle” through a process of “reunification through military force.” The “One China principle” is Beijing’s assertion that Taiwan is a province of China. The “One China Policy,” which Taiwan adheres to, is that there is only one China in the world. Taipei considers the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, its “One China.”
“This sentiment is a result provoked by the actions of the DPP authority and Taiwan secessionists that went against the trend of the times,” Ma explained. “Upholding the 1992 Consensus which reflects the adherence to the one-China principle is the unshakeable foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.”
“Taiwan secessionist forces and their actions are the biggest threat to the peace across the Straits, and must be contained,” he continued.
This week, China’s state-run English language propaganda outlet Global Times urged Beijing to start to “impose military pressure” against Taiwan, which they described as an “unbearable option” for the Taiwanese government.
“It is absolutely the will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people that Taiwan secession must be prevented no matter what action needs to be taken,” Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin said in a video directed at Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials.
Hu also urged the Trump administration against siding with a Taiwanese attempt at succession, declaring that Washington “cannot just consider public opinion in Taiwanese society while disregarding public opinion on the mainland.”
“If Tsai supports the Tsai administration in making a new provocative move, it will have to bear the consequences,” he warned. Although Hu’s remarks are not officially representative of the communist state, his warning is intended to show the hawkish elements within the CCP who are already gearing up for military action.
President Tsai appeared unfazed by the threats in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, urging China to face the reality that Taiwan was “an independent country already” and deserved more respect from Beijing.
“We don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state. We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan,” she said. “Invading Taiwan is something that is going to be very costly for China. We’re a successful democracy, we have a pretty decent economy, [and] we deserve respect from China.”