Chinese defense minister stresses PLA's courage, capabilities to defeat intruders
Smears of necessary military operations underestimate China’s resolve on Taiwan question
Published: Aug 16, 2022 09:42 PM Updated: Aug 16, 2022 10:05 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Tuesday said the Chinese military has the confidence and courage to defeat any intruders, and stressed staunch determination, firm will and strong ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, after some Western lawmakers smeared China's appropriate, necessary military operations as an "overreaction" to US' constant provocations over Taiwan question.  

Wei made the remarks while attending an international security forum in Moscow via video link on Tuesday. "China loves and defends peace, and at the same time firmly upholds its core national interests. There is absolutely no good end to 'Taiwan independence' and interference by external forces will never succeed," Wei said.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command on Monday organized multi-unit joint combat readiness patrols and live-fire drills in the sea areas and airspace around Taiwan island, after five US lawmakers visited Taiwan island just 12 days following House speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit.  

However, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price claimed China's response to the "peaceful visit" as totally unnecessary and an absolute overreaction at a news briefing on Monday. 

One of Britain's top military commanders Jim Hockenhull earlier accused China of "spectacularly useless escalation action" against Taiwan, The Times reported. Hockenhull said there was nothing unusual about Pelosi's trip to the island, but that China's response was "completely disproportionate."  

Those lawmakers are "thieves crying stop thief," Chinese analysts stressed, demanding the US to stop daydreaming that China, with abundant countermeasure options, will do nothing to its blatant encroachment on the one-China policy. 

At the same forum in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the American adventure concerning Taiwan is "carefully planned provocation" and a deliberate move to destabilize the region and outsource its domestic troubles, according to Russian News Agency TASS. 

Now that the US is determined on provocations over China's core interests, it should be prepared for any reactions from China and stop daydreaming that a new status quo will be created in line with the US' will, a Beijing-based expert on international relations, who preferred not to be named, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the US treats the island of Taiwan as a political entity without saying it and designated itself as having suzerainty over the island.

The US fears if it concedes on Taiwan question, its dominance in the western Pacific and its alliance with Japan and South Korea will be shaky. That is part of the reason why the US, knowing China would strike back, continues the provocations, Lü said. 

Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the US, was quoted by The New York Times as saying that another congressional delegation is expected to visit Taiwan before the end of this month.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Tuesday's routine press briefing that China is taking firm measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces can feel it.

China's top office on Taiwan affairs announced on Tuesday new punitive measures on diehard "Taiwan independence" separatists including banning them and their family members from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao SARs, and restricting their affiliated institutions from cooperating with relevant organizations and individuals on the mainland.

In addition to military drills, Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times that no matter whether they are American or British lawmakers, as long as they visit Taiwan island as lawmakers, China can add them onto the sanctions list, citing the precedent of a Lithuanian deputy minister.

Lü said what the US should be alert to is not what China has done, but what China has not, because "we have many options and will surely respond." If the US escalates its provocations, such as fabricating a new domestic act on Taiwan policy, the possibility of flying over the island and suspending nearby maritime routes cannot be ruled out, the expert said. 

The US-initiated tensions across the Taiwan Straits prompted concerns from regional countries.

Singapore's prime minister-in-waiting Lawrence Wong warned the US and China risk "sleepwalking into conflict," Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The relationship between the world's biggest economies is on a "very worrying" trajectory in the wake of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan and China's subsequent military drills around the island.

Asia has the greatest development potential and has long enjoyed regional stability, which will all be ruined if China and the US should engage in conflicts, a scenario neither side is willing to see, Lü said. But US politicians are losing their mind, and a real danger lies in the US' underestimation of China's determination and miscalculation of the consequences caused by its provocations, he said.