China’s government-run media have responded to President Tsai Ing-wen’s revelation of an American military presence in Taiwan explosively, warning on Thursday that those troops could “trigger a war.”
An alleged political “expert” quoted in the state propaganda outlet Global Times urged the Communist Party to attack both Taiwan and the United States, making moves “like ‘slamming nails into the hands of the U.S. and Taiwan to make them hurt.’”
The Global Times itself, in an editorial, described democratically elected Taiwanese officials as “quenching their thirst with poison” by relying on American support.
Taiwan is a sovereign nation and free society run through a democratic system. China falsely claims Taiwan as a “province” despite Beijing historically never having control over the island. The Communist Party forces all countries, including the United States, seeking diplomatic relations with Taiwan to disavow Taiwan’s sovereignty. Washington has traditionally supported Taiwan by allowing it “representative offices” it cannot refer to as consulates or embassies on U.S. soil, as well as selling weapons to the Taiwanese military.
Last week, President Joe Biden said America would become involved militarily in any Taiwan-China clash, prompting the White House to rapidly issue a statement walking back his claim.
Tsai, who became Taiwan’s first president on a wave of anti-communist sentiment, told CNN in an interview published Wednesday that American forces are present on the island. She asserted that these troops were “not as many as people thought.” America does not have any official military presence in Taiwan.
“We have a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability,” she continued.
Tsai asserted that she believed the United States, and other free states around the world, would support Taiwan in the event of a Chinese military attack.
“Taiwan is not alone because we are a democracy, we respect freedom and we are peace lovers,” Tsai argued, “and we share values with most of the countries in the region and geographically we are of strategic importance.”
“If we fail, then that means people that believe in these values would doubt whether these are values that they (should) be fighting for,” she continued, making the case that the free world has a vested interest in Taiwan’s success.
The Global Times, an official Chinese regime mouthpiece, asserted that Tsai would “surely face consequences coming from the Chinese mainland, including more military activities” in response to her remarks on Thursday. Chinese media refer to the legal territory of China as the “Chinese mainland,” implying that territories outside of China also belong to China.
One of the “experts” quoted in the piece, professor Li Fei, advised the Communist Party to “strengthen military presence … including all necessary activities conducted by military aircraft and vessels to crackdown the secessionist attempt within the island that was backed by the US.” The Chinese Communist Party refers to the legitimate government of Taiwan as a “secessionist” movement.
Another Global Times “expert” advised, “the Chinese mainland should take real actions to make the US and Taiwan secessionists pay the price, like ‘slamming nails into the hands of the US and Taiwan to make them hurt.’”
In a staff editorial, the regime newspaper predicted an American military presence in Taiwan “could trigger a war.”
“History will not forgive them. The Chinese mainland has the ability to execute the history’s just judgment on them,” the propagandists wrote.
Through her interview, they continued, Tsai sought for China to “resolve the Taiwan question by force. They know very well that they are quenching their thirst with poison. They are hysterically drinking poison portion after portion.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry itself, as usual, did not take as violent a tone as the belligerent Global Times. Spokesman Wang Wenbin addressed the interview by largely condemning America.
“The U.S. vessels have repeatedly flexed its muscles to make provocations and stir up troubles in the Taiwan Strait in recent times,” Wang told reporters on Thursday, according to an official government transcript of his press conference, “sending gravely wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and threatening cross-Strait peace and stability.”
“Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good end,” Wang said of the Taiwanese government.
Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng asserted following the publication of the Tsai interview that Taipei and Washington only had “military exchanges” that have resulted in “several of their people,” meaning U.S. forces, being present in America.
“This is not a garrison,” Chiu asserted.
Chinese government officials regularly threaten violence against Taiwan, in addition to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) regularly threatening Taiwanese airspace. Dictator Xi Jinping offered a particularly gory warning to the Taiwanese, as well as all enemies of communism, in a speech in 2019.