One of China’s most popular newspapers yesterday warned that nations involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea should “mentally prepare for the sounds of cannons” if they remain at loggerheads with Beijing.
The Global Times is published by the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, but unlike that newspaper it is not a platform for official policy and tends to take a stridently nationalist tone that pleases it readers.
In a editorial published in its Chinese and English editions, the Global Times accused countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines of taking advantage of China’s “mild diplomatic stance” to push their own agendas.
“Currently, China’s mainstream understanding is that it should first go through the general channels of negotiating with other countries to solve sea disputes. But if a situation turns ugly, some military action is necessary,” it wrote.
“If these countries don’t want to change their ways with China, they will need to mentally prepare for the sounds of cannons. We need to be ready for that, as it may be the only way for the disputes in the sea to be resolved,” it said.
China, Taiwan and four Southeast Asian states, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have conflicting claims over the Spratly Islands (南沙群島) and other atolls in the South China Sea, an area believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas. It is also a rich fishing ground.
Claimants to the sea have been trying to cool tension after a series of disputes this year, including when Chinese patrol boats threatened to ram a Philippine-contracted survey ship in the Reed Bank in March.
Asked about the newspapers’ remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu (姜瑜) said that the government was committed to a peaceful policy toward the sea.
“China’s media have the right to freely say what they like, but we hope that they play a constructive role and deliver a truthful message,” she told a regular news briefing.
China, which says it has indisputable sovereignty over the seas to its south and islands within, has rejected international arbitration and has proposed joint development of resources.
The Global Times said other governments had virtually ignored China’s call “to put away differences and work on shared interests.”
“No known method exists to solve these issues in a peaceful way,” it wrote.
“The reality is that each country in the region believes it has what it takes to force China to bow down. China wants to remain calm, but it is an isolated role to play,” the paper said.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MEETING: The statement by the former US representative came as Congress is poised to back US$10 billion to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities Former US representative Will Hurd yesterday said visiting Taiwan has made him realize that China’s “one country, two systems” framework is not a feasible solution for Taiwan. Hurd, who is visiting Taiwan with an international delegation, made the remarks when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. There is bipartisan support for Taiwan in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing that only the 23.5 million Taiwanese can decide the nation’s future, said Hurd, a trustee at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund think tank. Former German lawmaker Marieluise Beck said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed mindsets