Beijing has recently stepped up its warmongering rhetoric against its democratic neighbor, Taiwan, following the recent visit by three US senators to the self-governing island.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) And Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) stopped by three hours in Taiwan on June 6 to announce that the United States would donate 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the island. Before the announcement, the Taiwanese government has criticized repeatedly to Beijing for interfering in its efforts to purchase vaccines from major COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers.
Two days after the senators’ trip, on June 8, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced on its WeChat account that its 72nd Army Group had recently conducted a military exercise in the waters. off the coast of southern China’s Fujian province. The exercise, in which landing ships and vehicles participated, was aimed at enhancing the unit’s amphibious capabilities.
Also on June 8, Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, told local media that the senators’ trip to Taiwan was a “political spectacle” and a “vile political provocation” against China. Wu also accused the United States of “seriously undermining” the stability of the Taiwan Strait.
Without naming any country, Wu threatened that anyone who dared “separate Taiwan from China” would see a “determined frontal attack” by the Chinese military.
In an article published on June 9, China’s spokesman, the Global Times, stated that any exercise by the PLA should not be seen as a mere “deterrent measure.” In fact, Beijing was preparing to win “any possible military conflict in the future.” The same article also boasted of China’s growing amphibious warfare capabilities.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regards Taiwan as part of its territory, even though the self-governing island is a de facto independent country, with its own democratically elected government, army, constitution and currency.
As such, Beijing opposes any government forging ties with Taipei or engaging with Taiwanese officials.
Last year, Beijing also reacted with fury when two Trump Administration officials visited Taiwan: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and former Under Secretary of State, Keith noise.
Washington currently has no diplomatic ties with Taipei, but has been the island’s main arms supplier under the Taiwan Relations Act (BETWEEN).
On June 7, US Representative Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) Used her account Twitter to say that Beijing should stay out of any interaction between Washington and Taipei.
“Americans can travel to #Taiwan whenever they want and the #PCCh has no control or right to order a delegation from the US Congress to visit the country,” he wrote.
Taiwan, which is 81 miles off the coast of China, has been improving its military defense capabilities to thwart any invasion attempt by Beijing. Some experts in China have claimed that the Chinese invasion is a real possibility in the near future, perhaps in the next three years.
In March, Admiral Philip Davidson, then head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, warned during a Senate hearing that the communist regime could invade Taiwan in the “next six years.”
Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer
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