Taiwan's top cross-strait official yesterday responded to renewed military posturing from Beijing by calling for "more civilized" measures, indicating that the threats would only serve to put distance between the two sides.
"[The defense white paper] is so explicit. It says that it will use force against Taiwan, and as we enter a new era in international relations, I think a civilized international community should resolve differences in a civilized manner through peaceful negotiations," Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (
"It is very rare to see a country [state] in a white paper that it will use force against others," Wu said.
As momentum grows for an anti-secession bill said to target Taiwan, Beijing yesterday released a white paper on defense, repeating warnings that attempts to secure Taiwanese independence would be "resolutely and thoroughly crush[ed] at any cost."
But Wu said that the threats were "nothing new."
"That's why I don't link the white paper with enactment of the [anti-secession] law," Wu said.
He added that while he had not read the paper in full, he had not detected any new elements in it.
"[The timing of the white paper and the bill] seems to be coincidental ... we haven't come to the conclusion that they are doing this in sequence to step up pressure against Taiwan," Wu said.
The release of the white paper comes just one day after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress approved further consideration of an anti-secession bill on Sunday.
Wu said that China's threats would only achieve the opposite of what was intended.
"This effort to bring Taiwan closer to China will only push Taiwan further away," he said, adding that China did not understand Taiwan.
Wu also said China's threats would not play well with the international community and that this worked against the credibility of China's commitment to a "peaceful rising."
"The raw use of military threat can only turn the international community away from China," he said.
"They [the Chinese] stress this "peaceful rising," but at the same time they constantly threaten other nations with military force. I think this will only lead to the opposite of what is intended because others will doubt China's commitment to peaceful methods," Wu said.
The white paper also took aim at the US for selling arms to Taiwan.
Wu said, however, that the US only sold weapons to Taiwan because it recognized the military threat that China posed. He also said that Taiwan was only considering the purchase of defensive weapons from the US.
Wu also commented on what he called the international community's lack of action in relation to the anti-secession bill.
He said that in general the international community was waiting to see the text of the proposed law before taking action, but he warned that "by the time the text is released, it might be too late."
"This is an urgent call to the international community to stop China before it is too late," he said.