There’s nothing subtle about China’s latest demand that the U.S. cancel a proposed billion dollar sale of advanced weaponry to Taiwan and end all interactions between the two militaries. The Chinese defense ministry sent out a statement late Thursday that said those two things have to happen in order to “avoid serious repercussions for relations between China and the U.S. and their armed forces and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
What would China do if those demands were not met? Well, the statement said it would “compel the Chinese side to fight back resolutely.” Essentially, that echoes what Xi Jinping, the President of China, told members of his military in an appearance last week when he informed them they need to prepare for war.
On Wednesday, the State Department announced it had green-lighted the sale of 135 precision land attack missiles made by Boeing that would enhance the defense capabilities of Taiwan. The reason this is such a serious matter is China regards Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if it becomes necessary.
U.S. law constitutes that our government must ensure Taiwan can maintain a credible defense, and China’s military has increased activity around Taiwan to try to force political concessions from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who favors independence for Taiwan.
The Chinese Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement Thursday that Tsai’s Democratic People’s party is plotting with the U.S. and demanded it stops, or else. “This can only seriously undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and bring down a terrible disaster on the Taiwanese people,” the statement said.