“Won't she regret being the catalyst for China's reunification with Taiwan”
After Beijing urged US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cancel her visit to Taiwan, The Chinese military began exercises off the coast of the island. And the Chinese press is threatening Americans with the headlines “Don't say we didn't warn you.”
Photo: Global Look Press
China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts “live-fire drill” amid US House Speaker Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan.
China said it was conducting military exercises off its coast opposite Taiwan after Beijing urged Nancy Pelosi to drop possible plans to visit Taipei, The Guardian reported.
China's official Xinhua news agency reported that the People's Liberation the army conducted a “live-fire exercise” near the Pingtan Islands in Fujian province from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturday. The Maritime Safety Administration has warned ships to avoid the area.
In another incident, Taiwan's defense ministry said it twice spotted an unidentified drone flying over Dongyin Island, which is controlled by Taiwan but located near mainland China, on Thursday, adding that it could not rule out that the drone was used to “gather intelligence” in this area. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry's statement does not mention China or suggest who may have flown the drone.
Tensions between the United States and China have been rising over a potential trip to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently told US President Joe Biden that “if you play with fire, you'll get burned.” President Xi Jinping warned his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in a telephone conversation Thursday about “outside interference” in Beijing's relations with Taipei.
China says that Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations. Beijing views visits by US officials there as an encouragement to the island to formally declare its independence.
Nancy Pelosi, who will become the highest-ranking US elected official to visit Taiwan since 1997, has not yet confirmed whether she will go whether she is on an island that China considers its territory.
This week, China's Defense Department urged Washington not to allow Pelosi, Biden's equal in rank to head one of the three US branches of government, to visit Taiwan. The spokesman said the PLA would take some “strong action” to halt pro-independence activities.
The Pentagon is developing a security plan involving ships and aircraft to ensure Pelosi's safety should she visit to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the PLA is sending increasing numbers of fighters and bombers to the area near Taiwan and has fired missiles along sea lanes leading to the island in the past.
As The Guardian recalls, Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war ended in victory for the Communists on the mainland. Both governments claim to be one country but disagree over who is entitled to national leadership. They have no official relationship, but they are linked by billions of dollars of trade and investment.
In anticipation of Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan, the Chinese semi-official publication Global Times published a scathing article containing the phrase “Don't say we didn't warn you!”. This phrase was used in the People's Daily in 1962, before the start of the border war between China and India and before the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979. It was mentioned frequently at a forum held Friday by a senior Chinese think tank, where analysts warned that if the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives ventures to visit Taiwan on his tour of Asia, “military options and comprehensive countermeasures from the economy to diplomacy.”
According to the Global Times, China's various ministries and departments also issued a number of warnings last week in response to Pelosi's possible visit to the island of Taiwan. On Friday, the Taiwan Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a top-level think tank, held a forum with analysts to discuss the damage that Pelosi's possible visit to the island of Taiwan could have on China-US relations and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
“China's responses will be systematic and not limited to a small scale, given the severity of Pelosi's actions and the damage to political trust on the part of China-US relations,” said Yang Mingjie, head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Taiwan Studies Institute.
Yang Mingze pointed out that China reiterated its opposition to Pelosi's possible visit and used the phrase “yanzhen yidai”, literally meaning “arranging army formation to await the enemy”, to show that the Chinese have made all preparations for fighting or any challenge.
There are several measures the PLA can take when Pelosi arrives on the island of Taiwan. For example, Chinese fighter jets can fly alongside and monitor Pelosi's plane as they fly over the airport where her plane lands in Taiwan, naval expert Wang Yunfei told the Global Times.
The PLA may also designate the air and sea zones around the island of Taiwan as restricted areas to discourage Pelosi's plane from flying. Chinese fighter jets could also fly over the island to start a new model for dealing with separatist military operations on the island, Wang Yunfei suggested, noting that it is also possible to launch missiles around Taiwan and conduct military exercises.
Military analysts also note that the PLA may conduct large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, including in the waters between the island and Japan, as well as between Taiwan and Guam. The PLA exercises will also include joint efforts by all branches of the PLA military with all combat elements, including electronic warfare, missile and long-range missile strikes, air superiority and control of the sea, amphibious landings, as well as anti-missile and anti-missile actions, blockade of territory from outside military intervention.
As Wu Yongping, director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Tsinghua University, commented to the Global Times, mainland China's countermeasures will be comprehensive in the military, diplomatic, economic fields and public opinion. If Pelosi insists on a visit, China could turn the incident into an opportunity to take control of the Taiwan Strait and push for reunification.
If so, won't Pelosi regret being the catalyst for China's reunification? » Wu Yongping asks.
The words “Don't say we didn't warn you” have become the catchphrase used by Chinese official media as the most serious warning ever given before the actual start of military operations, Global Times recalls.
“The US should not underestimate the determination of the Chinese people to protect the fundamental interests of sovereignty, integrity and security at all times. Nor should they repeat a miscalculation made in the 1950s during the Korean War. Even though China was not strong at that time, it still had the courage to wage war when it was cornered, and by then it will definitely not sit idly by,” says Yang Mingjie.
The countermeasures in China's toolbox include specific and strategic, as well as quick and long-term measures, and it will take various measures in accordance with Pelosi's interactions with separatists from the island of Taiwan, writes Global Times. If she makes a visit, the possibility of China recalling the US ambassador cannot be ruled out, analysts say, also referring to imposing sanctions on those associated with the visit.
Pelosi due to his paranoid anti-China ideas and selfish political interests provoked the Taiwan issue and sent a wildly misleading signal to the separatist forces in Taiwan. If this leads to the intensification and loss of control of separatist activities, it will harm the national interests of the United States, and it is the United States that should pay the bill, said Zhu Weidong, deputy director of the Taiwan Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.