On Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during which he pushed for “reunification” with democratically-governed Taiwan.
“National reunification by peaceful means best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our compatriots in Taiwan,” Xi stated.
“Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should stand on the right side of history and join hands to achieve China’s complete reunification, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” Xi continued, later adding, “Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good end; they will be disdained by the people and condemned by history.”
In response to Xi’s latest remarks, Taiwan’s China-policy-making Mainland Affairs Council issued a statement asking that China “abandon its provocative steps of intrusion, harassment and destruction.”
The communist dictatorship has recently ratcheted up its intimidation of Taiwan, sending nearly 150 military jets into Taiwanese airspace over the course of several days at the beginning of October. The island nation responded by scrambling jets “to warn away the Chinese planes, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them,” according to Reuters.
“If China is going to launch a war against Taiwan we will fight to the end, and that is our commitment. I’m sure that if China is going to launch an attack against Taiwan, I think they are going to suffer tremendously as well,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told an Australian media outlet.
As tensions escalate, news recently broke that a small contingent of American military personnel has been operating in Taiwan for “at least a year.” The group has reportedly been training Taiwanese ground and maritime forces for defense as China has become increasingly aggressive in their rhetoric and behavior regarding a potential takeover.
Speaking with Fox News recently, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby said that “if China wants to solve the Taiwan issue,” they will likely invade. “If China’s really serious about it, it’s going to go for a fait accompli; it’s going to move in, take it over, and then present us with just simply too difficult of a reality to reverse.”
China’s possessiveness over Taiwan isn’t merely relegated to government matters. During a press junket for “F9” this summer, actor and WWE star John Cena referred to Taiwan as a “country.” His remark angered China, which eventually led Cena to apologize in Mandarin.
“I made a mistake in one of my interviews,” Cena said, later adding, “I have to say something very, very, very, very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people.”
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