On Thursday, Sept. 17, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) media spoke defiantly against the United States and Taiwan after the visit of U.S. Undersecretary of State Keith Krach, to the island to engage in a strategic dialogue on trade and security.
The Global Times, a CCP-backed media outlet, stated in an article: “Once the People’s Liberation Army dispatches troops to reunify the island of Taiwan, the military equipment from the U.S. will be nothing but decorations.”
“Once they go too far, the stones may become torpedoes, increasing the uncertainties in the entire region, as well as the risks of drastic changes in the Taiwan Straits,” it added.
According to The Print, Krach’s stay on the island prompted a round of military manoeuvres by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, including a rare incursion across the Taiwan Strait’s midline.
Eighteen Chinese military aircraft, including fighter planes and bombers, crossed the midline on Friday morning, according to a statement from the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense.
During Krach’s visit, while paying his respects at the funeral of Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s first democratically elected president who recently died, Taiwan’s representative to the United States confirmed his support for the bilateral trade agreements under way.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump approved $7 billion worth of arms sales to Taiwan, including the sale of defensive equipment to counter a Chinese amphibious assault ship.
As Reuters pointed out, Taiwan is a sensitive territorial issue for the CCP, which maintains that the island is a province of its territory and therefore regularly condemns the support it receives from foreign forces led by the United States.
The United States wishes to create a military counterweight to the Chinese forces on the basis of a strategic movement known within the Pentagon as “Taiwan Fortress,” given the increasingly aggressive military exercises conducted by the CCP.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the CCP views Washington’s recent proposals to Taipei, including its visit by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar last month, as a threat to its alleged sovereignty over Taiwan through the One China Principle.
For Michael Mazza, an academic at the American Enterprise Institute, the increasingly sharp rhetoric of the CCP, together with the corresponding military demonstrations, are aimed at warning against U.S. rapprochement in the region, according to The New York Times.