'Prepare for war': China issues new threat over Taiwan
Will "teach Taiwan independence forces a hard lesson"
China on Wednesday issued new threats aimed at Taiwan, telling the island's opposition party to "prepare for war."
In a column in China's state-sponsored Global Times, editor in chief Hu Xijin warned, "As the secessionist forces' arrogance continues to swell, the historical turning point is getting closer."
"The only way forward is for the mainland to fully prepare itself for war and to give Taiwan secessionist forces a decisive punishment at any time," he also wrote.
The nation's opposition party has been seeking closer cooperation with the United States. But Hu wrote: "The more trouble Taiwan creates, the sooner the mainland will decide to teach Taiwan independence forces a hard lesson."
China has been angered by the ongoing tour of Asia by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking support for U.S. efforts to contain China. On Tuesday, the Taiwanese Kuomintang Party, or KMT, renewed its effort for the government to reestablish diplomatic ties with the U.S.
The Global Times blasted that move.
"Regardless of its intentions, the Kuomintang (KMT)'s latest proposals against the Communist Party of China (CPC), and promoting the Taiwan island's relationship with the US, will not only tarnish KMT, but also severely harm cross-Straits relations, observers said," the paper wrote.
"These proposals show that the KMT has alienated from its previous stance - it has no method, no thought, no framework and no direction on dealing relationships between the Chinese mainland, Taiwan island and the US government," Chang Ya-chung, a professor at the National Taiwan University and a member of the pro-reunification Kuomintang (KMT), told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Taiwan has served as "an increasingly significant element of the U.S. strategy for the region amid new consideration for providing it with military support," US News & World Report wrote Wednesday. "Officials at the Pentagon have reportedly begun calling it, 'Fortress Taiwan.'"
Before Pompeo left on his recent Asian tour, he expressed U.S. concerns about China's expansionism, especially in the Taiwan Straits that separate the island from the mainland.
But top State Department officials said the U.S. wouldn't confront China about Taiwan.
The administration's top goal was "ensuring and insisting that the issues with the mainland and with Taiwan are resolved peacefully and through dialogue," Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell told reporters last week. "And that's what you've seen the administration steps are reinforcing that, that commitment made by both sides."
On Tuesday, KMT urged the government of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to re-establish diplomatic ties with Washington.
"The KMT caucus presented the motion in Taiwan’s legislature on Tuesday. President Tsai and the DPP have taken steps to increase ties with the US, but the proposal by the KMT is seen as more radical than any actions the ruling party has taken," the South China Morning Post reported.
Some DPP officials praised the KMT for introducing the motion, while others dismissed it as a trick to outflank President Tsai on U.S. relations and independence from mainland China.
“The KMT must be insane. Just days ago, it said restoring ties with the US would only seriously provoke the Chinese Communists, and now they are asking the government to do it,” DPP legislature member Hsu Chih-chieh said.
The plan didn't go over well with DPP members.
“The KMT must be insane. Just days ago, it said restoring ties with the US would only seriously provoke the Chinese Communists, and now they are asking the government to do it,” DPP legislator Hsu Chih-chieh told The Post.