The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday said China’s threat to use armed force against Taiwan and to compromise peace in the region is absolutely unacceptable, after Chinese Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe (魏鳳和) said in Singapore that China’s military would “resolutely take action” to defend Beijing’s claims to Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters.
The Republic of China is a sovereign state and Taiwan has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, it said in a statement.
Beijing’s hegemonic and expansionist ambitions are detrimental to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, damage the international order, cause anxiety to nations in the region and expose the “peaceful development” touted by Beijing as “the lie of the century,” the council said.
The international community should understand that China, with its anti-democratic machinations, war-like ambitions and provocative behavior, is the main cause of cross-strait tensions and the main threat to peace and stability, it added.
Earlier in the day, Wei told the Shangri-La Dialogue that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not “yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land.”
“The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble, but it is not afraid to face up to troubles. Should anybody risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies,” Wei said in a speech to defense and other government officials and academics at the annual security conference.
“China must be and will be reunified. We find no excuse not to do so. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs, at all costs, for national unity,” Wei said. “We will strive for the prospect of peaceful unification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force.”
He rebutted US allegations of militarization of the South China Sea, saying that the facilities it built on reclaimed land there were “defensive” in nature.
Wei said China and the US recognize that a conflict or war between them would have wide-reaching effects.
“It takes two to cooperate but only one to start a fight,” he said. “We hope that the US side will work with us towards the same goal, follow the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and steer the China-US relations in the right direction.”
Wei surprised many observers by taking a question from an audience member about the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.
“That incident was a political turbulence and the central government took measures to stop the turbulence which is a correct policy,” he said.
“The 30 years have proven that China has undergone major changes,” he said, adding that because of the government’s actions at that time “China has enjoyed stability and development.”
Wei also said that China’s policies in Xinjiang had improved people’s lives and prevented terror attacks from happening for more than two years.
China last sent a high-ranking general to the Shangri-La conference in 2011. Some observers see Wei’s attendance this year was a pointed attempt by China to cement its relationships in the region.
In related news, China yesterday began two days of military training in the South China Sea.
The China Maritime Safety Administration said the drills were being held all day yesterday and for half a day tomorrow in an area near China’s holdings in the Paracel Islands (西沙群島, Xisha Islands).
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
The Kaohsiung District Court has ordered a man to pay a convenience store NT$600 (US$18.83) in compensation for using his own mug to refill a pot of tea eggs, ruling against the store manager’s NT$1 million claim. In May, during the peak of a domestic COVID-19 surge, a man surnamed Lee (李) added water from his mug to a pot of tea eggs after seeing it was nearly dry. A clerk stopped Lee, then discarded all 60 eggs in the pot, worth an estimated NT$600, after consulting with the manager, it said. The manager sued Lee, demanding NT$1 million for damage to the
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting
DEFENSE-READY: The armament of the ‘Yushan’ allows for amphibious combat operations, the head of a firm involved in the ship’s construction said The navy yesterday took delivery of the first locally developed and built naval ship of more than 10,000 tonnes in a ceremony in Kaohsiung presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The ROCS Yushan, an amphibious transport dock, was the result of a government-initiated indigenous shipbuilding project seeking to establish autonomy over national defense, Tsai said. She thanked CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台船), the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and the navy for their contributions. The military needs the best equipment to uphold peace and defend Taiwan as it faces military threats from China, Tsai said. The 153m long and 23m wide Yushan