CHINA / DIPLOMACY
PLA drills ‘a stern warning’ to Taiwan, safeguard prospect of peaceful reunification
Published: Jan 27, 2021 10:42 PM

Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of State Council. Photo: VCG



The frigate fleet, comprised of the guided-missile frigates Qingyun (Hull 589), Jingmen (Hull 506) and Zhaotong (Hull 555), steam in formation during a four-day maritime training exercise from January 22 to 25, 2021. They are attached to a frigate flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Cai Shengqiu)



By conducting combat exercises in the Taiwan Straits, the Chinese mainland is sending a warning to Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party secessionist authority and the US, experts said, as the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said the recent drills are "a stern warning to deter foreign forces and Taiwan secessionists."

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is resolutely safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity by conducting combat exercises in the Taiwan Straits, said Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday. 

Taiwan-based media on Sunday reported that PLA planes entered Taiwan's "southwest air defense identification zone" for two consecutive days, sending 28 sorties, the largest since the continuous patrol to the Taiwan Straits last year.

"Only in this way can we safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and safeguard the prospects of peaceful reunification across the Straits," Zhu said, noting that "in order to effectively handle interference from foreign forces and secessionist activities made by a few Taiwan secessionists, we will not promise to abandon the use of force, and we reserve the right to take all measures. This will never change." 

Taiwan's secessionists on Saturday formed a so-called "Taiwan new constitution alliance" to promote the draft of a new "constitution" to remove "national reunification." Taiwan's anti-epidemic organ also created political obstacles for mainland vaccines to enter the island. 

According to Zhu, the DPP authority and secessionists have repeatedly resorted to separatist acts, which seriously damaged the interests of compatriots on either side of the Taiwan Straits and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. 

The US aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt entered the South China Sea through the Bashi Strait on Saturday, about the same time PLA aircraft entered the airspace over Taiwan, media reported. 

Analysts said that although the Biden administration previously called the DPP authority as "elected representatives," which is different from the term used by the Trump administration like "Taiwan's president," the maneuvering of the US aircraft carrier shows that Biden has returned to the US' basic stance toward Taiwan.

Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the move from the Taiwan Affairs Office is a warning to the DPP authority and the new US administration, that China will not make any concessions on the issue of sovereignty and territory.

"The US will continue to play the 'Taiwan card' to contain the Chinese mainland according to the changing situation, and the new US government might also escalate current tensions," Wang said, noting the office's move is a necessary sign to ask the US to handle the Taiwan question cautiously.

The DPP authority will continue to follow the US in confronting the mainland, and we can't be too optimistic on the future across the Taiwan Straits, said Wang. 

"The situation in the Taiwan Straits will remain tense. As long as the DPP authority gangs up with the US to confront the mainland and seeks secessionism, heavy pressure from the mainland will remain and be strengthened," Wang said.

PLA's operations in Taiwan Straits are aimed at current situation in the region, and are a necessary move to safeguard national sovereignty and security, and act as a stern response to foreign interference and Taiwan secessionists' provocations, Wu Qian, spokesperson of the Chinese Defense Ministry said. 

"So-called Taiwan independence means war," Wu said on a press briefing on Friday.


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