China has escalated tensions in the region to the highest point yet – threatening to “seize” Taiwan by “all necessary means.”
Beijing’s ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, issued the threat following Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island of Taiwan which sparked tensions between Taiwan and the CCP.
In response to Pelosi’s visit, China held its biggest ever live fire exercises around the territory in an attempt to intimidate them.
Qian said after six days of the military drills: ‘We can never rule out the option to use other means. So when necessary, when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means.”
“As to what does it mean by “necessary means?” You can use your imagination,” he added.
Qian went on to claim that China has been “so patient” while “waiting for a peaceful reunification” despite China’s efforts to display their military might all around Taiwan.
He added that “the majority of the people in Taiwan believe they’re Chinese” and deserve a say in their future, though their population is overwhelmingly against unifying with its Communist neighbor.
In addition to Qian’s threatening comments, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office similarly refused to rule out the use of force, saying, “Never before have we been so close to, confident in, and capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation.”
Since late last week, China has been taunting Taiwan by sending a number of ships and aircrafts over the unofficial buffer between the two coast lines.
At the same time, the U.S. appears determined to get involved in what would ultimately become a massive conflict with China.
U.S. Navy officials said this week that warships will sail through the Taiwan Strait in the coming days despite the CCP’s military exercises.
The U.S. Naval Institute reports that the military would conduct “freedom of navigation operations” in the Indo-Pacific waters. Such visits recognize international law, allowing vessels to pass through foreign states safely.
“We will continue to stand by our allies and partners,” Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy, said at a press conference.
“So even as China tries to kind of chip away at the status quo, our policy is to maintain the status quo of a free and open Indo-Pacific, which frankly is what I think most of the countries in the region would prefer.”
Kahl added that the U.S. has a commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with capabilities to defend itself, which includes the U.S. having capabilities “to preclude the use of violence to force a change in the status quo across the Strait.”
He continued, stating, “Clearly the PRC is trying to coerce Taiwan. Clearly, they’re trying to coerce the international community, and all I’ll say is we’re not going to take the bait and it’s not going to work.”
“So it’s a manufactured crisis. That doesn’t mean we have to play into that,” Kahl added.