- China’s state media branded Taiwan ‘weak and cowardly’ in latest war of words
- Op-ed said the island was likely ‘to surrender in a few years’ and threatened force
- Xi Jinping said China harbours ambitions of ‘peaceful reunification’ with Taiwan
- Speaking in Beijing’s Great Hall, Xi made comments ahead of its National Day
- News comes amid days of provocation and incursions into Taiwanese airspace
Lauren Lewis, Jack Thorburn – Daily Mail Oct 9, 2021
China has warned the US over its involvement in Taiwan and claimed the ‘weak and cowardly’ island authorities will accept reunification ahead of the island’s National Day of celebration tomorrow.
An op-ed in state media outlet Global Times said the US would face ‘unbearable’ consequences for its military involvement in Taiwan and that American troops would be the first to be ‘eliminated’ in a Chinese ‘invasion’.
The piece also claimed Taiwanese authorities were likely ‘to surrender [to reunification] in a few years or even a shorter period of time’ or China would resolve the dispute ‘by force’.
It comes comes amid a rise in aggressive threats and provocative military action over Taiwanese airspace in recent days.
Beijing views the island as an autonomous Chinese province and has long sought reunification though Taiwan sees itself as an independent state.
Earlier today President Xi Jinping said China harbours ambitions of a ‘peaceful reunification’ with the island but warned it ‘must be realised, and will definitely be realised’.
Mr Xi was speaking at an official celebration in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People that focused largely on the need for the ruling Communist Party to continue to lead China as the country rises in power and influence.
‘Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots.’
The celebration was in honour of the 110th anniversary of the Chinese revolution in 1911 leading to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China led by Sun Yat-sen.
October 10 is celebrated in Taiwan as National Day and Mr Xi’s address highlighted aspirations for a unified future, despite marked differences between China’s authoritarian one-party system and Taiwan’s multi-party democracy.
Isabel Hilton, visiting professor at King’s College London, told BBC R4’s Today that Mr Xi’s rhetoric had toned down after a week of ‘intense military incursions and provocations’.
She added: ‘Personally, I think the price of an armed assault by China is high, China is aware of that. But they’re not going to give up on national ambition of reunification as they see it.
‘Taiwan sees itself as a self-governing democracy and the people have very little desire for reunification with China.’