Don’t look for foreign support for island’s cause, Beijing warns Taipei
Warning comes after mainland diplomat insists China will invade if US warships dock on the island
Taipei will fail in its efforts to get foreign support for its cause, Beijing said on Wednesday after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened Taiwan would be attacked the instant any US warship visited the self-ruled island.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is its main source of arms.
Beijing regularly calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue between it and the United States. In September, the US Congress passed the National Defence Authorisation Act for the 2018 financial year, which authorises mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the United States.
That prompted a senior US-based Chinese diplomat to say last week that the mainland would attack Taiwan the instant any US navy vessel visited Taiwan.
Asked about the remarks, An Fengshan, spokesman for China’s policymaking Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan was an internal matter for China and that China opposed any form of military contacts between Taipei and Washington.
“What I want to stress and point out is that any relying on foreigners to build oneself up or plots to harm national sovereignty and territorial integrity will be opposed by the entire Chinese nation and cannot succeed,” An said.
Beijing suspects Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who leads the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, wants to declare the island’s formal independence. Tsai says she wants to maintain peace with Beijing, but will defend Taiwan’s security.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has carried out a series of drills near Taiwan this year, prompting the island’s forces to scramble jets to shadow them.