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World China Will Never Renounce Using Force Against Taiwan, Warplanes a Warning: CCP Official

15:01  27 january  2021
15:01  27 january  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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China reserves all options against Taiwan, including the use of force, a Chinese official said Wednesday while issuing a veiled warning at the new administration of Joe Biden.

China claims Taiwan is a breakaway province determined to declare independence with the help of "external forces," despite Taipei's repeated statements to the contrary.

The Taiwan Affairs Office, which is established under China's State Council, returned to familiar rhetoric on Wednesday when spokesperson Zhu Fenglian blamed Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for destabilizing the Taiwan Strait.

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It was Zhu's first press conference since two large groups of People's Liberation Army warplanes buzzed the skies near Taiwan over the weekend, drawing a statement from the State Department expressing "concern" at Beijing's actions and reaffirming the Biden administration's "rock-solid" support for Taipei.

Nearly 30 Chinese warplanes, including eight heavy bombers and 14 fighter jets, made sorties into Taiwan's southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Saturday and Sunday. The flights coincided with the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to the South China Sea, which has been regarded by allies as a reassuring gesture coming just days after Biden's inauguration.

Zhu said the PLA missions into Taiwan's ADIZ, a widely used type of airspace not officially governed by international law, was meant as a "stern warning" to both Taipei and "meddling external forces"—a phrase usually reserved for the United States.

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"Taiwan independence" forces were provoking China by seeking "secession" from its territory, which Beijing was "determined to maintain," said Zhu.

"We will not renounce the use of force and reserve all options," the spokesperson added. "This will never change at any time."

Chinese military exercises and live-fire drills in or near the Taiwan Strait are now considered routine, say analysts in both China and Taiwan. Zhu described the otherwise intimidating tactics as necessary for maintaining "peace and stability," and for ensuring China's "peaceful unification" with Taiwan.

Dialog between Taipei and Beijing has been non-existent during the presidency of Tsai Ing-wen, who was elected to office in 2016 and re-elected last January. She previously described her party's stance as wanting to maintain the "status quo" in the Taiwan Strait, insisting it was not necessary to formally declare Taiwan a sovereign state.

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Chinese officials blame the Taiwanese government for stymieing cross-strait exchanges, including official meetings, while the Tsai administration maintains it is open to talks as long as there are no preconditions.

The Biden administration's statement on Sunday also called on Beijing to engage in meaningful dialog with Taiwan's elected representatives. But on Monday the Chinese foreign ministry appeared to prove Taipei's point, saying Beijing would only hold talks on the basis of its "one-China principle" and the disputed "1992 Consensus."

Analysts on both sides of the strait agree that democratic Taiwan will remain a key player in the great power competition between China and the United States.

Recent pronouncements by President Biden's key cabinet members also suggest Washington lawmakers were now largely in agreement on China, as well as Taipei's role in helping to curb its increasingly bullish behavior.

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