EDITOR NOTE: The chokehold is tightening. China’s rhetoric toward Taiwan and its increasing military presence in the area is there to remind the nation that any declaration of independence will likely be met by military force. In a way, the conflict between the two countries can be seen as a civil war that has yet to find its completion, though the world knows that the mainland--through its economic and military capabilities--will be the winner hands down. Most Americans wouldn’t support a US-China “hot” war. We’re not even obligated to defend Taiwan, though we’re obligated by a 1979 treaty to supply the country with arms. China’s threat to the US is formidable enough, even without the element of military conflict. It is positioning itself to overtake leadership in the global economy, something that will drastically affect our currency and future wealth prospects. On the financial front, should our Cold War with China escalate toward a deeper freeze, the choice of holding gold and silver to ward off its effect on our domestic currency and overall wealth will prove to be the most prudent option of them all.
China toughened its language towards Taiwan on Thursday, warning after recent stepped up military activities near the island that “independence means war” and that its armed forces were acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.
Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, reported multiple Chinese fighter jets and bombers entering its southwestern air defence identification zone last weekend, prompting Washington to urge Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.
China believes that Taiwan’s democratically-elected government is moving the island towards a declaration of formal independence, though Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly said it is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name.
Asked at a monthly news briefing about the air force’s recent activities, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.
“The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” he said.
“They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he added.
Wu said a “handful” of people in Taiwan were seeking the island’s independence.
“We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,” he added.
While China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, it is unusual for Beijing to make such overt, verbal threats of conflict.
Asked about the remarks, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said there was no reason that tensions between China and Taiwan “need to lead to anything like confrontation.” He also reaffirmed longstanding U.S. military support to Taiwan’s self-defense.
“We have obligations to assist Taiwan with their self-defense and I think you’re going to see that continue,” said Kirby, a retired admiral, in the first Pentagon briefing of the Biden administration.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said China should think carefully and not underestimate the island’s determination to defend its sovereignty and uphold freedom and democracy.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry reported six Chinese air force aircraft, including four J-10 fighter jets, flew into its air defence zone on Thursday, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands at the top end of the South China Sea.
The weekend Chinese incursions coincided with a U.S. carrier battle group entering the disputed South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”.
China routinely describes Taiwan as its most important and sensitive issue in relations with the United States, which under the former Trump administration ramped up support for the island in terms of arms sales and senior officials visiting Taipei.
President Joe Biden’s government, in office for a week, has reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan as being “rock solid.”
Taiwan has denounced China’s threats and efforts at intimidation, and Tsai has vowed to defend the island’s freedom and not be coerced.
Originally posted on Reuters