South China Sea: More ‘confrontation’ to come predicts expert
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Last Friday US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” in a statement after their White House meeting. It was the first time since 1969 that leaders of the two countries had mentioned Taiwan in a joint communiqué. The statement came in response to growing speculation and fears that China may be contemplating a forceful annexation of the democratic island state.
Mr Suga would later insist that the White House announcement did not “presuppose military involvement at all”, after returing to Japan.
In an op-ed for the Chinese state tabloid Global times, Hu Xijin called the Japanese premier’s clarification a “wise” move, but said there were still some radicals who wanted to “act conceitedly on the Taiwan question.”
The newspaper’s editor-in-chief continued: “We must tell those arrogant Japanese radicals: If a war breaks out in the Taiwan Straits and Japanese Self-Defense Forces implement military intervention to follow the US, then they will definitely become the target of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
“The deeper they are involved, the harder they will be hit, or even much harder.
“If their bases on Japanese soil act as vanguards, then those bases will be hit as well.
“They should completely drop their illusion of interfering in the Taiwan question.”
He ominiously added: “Once something goes wrong in the Taiwan Straits, stay away or else you are asking for a beating.”
Beijing is growing increasingly anxious about the strengthening ties between Tokyo and Washington under the Biden administration.
Defence chiefs from both countries agreed in March to cooperate closely if China decided to attack and invade Taiwan.
Tokyo is also considering plans to allow its Self-Defence forces to protect US warships and military planes in the region in the event of a war between China and Taiwan.
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Beijing has never recognised Taiwan as an independent country and insists that it is a part of China.
Last Tuesday, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng fired off the latest salvo of stark warnings about Taiwan’s independence.
In an interview with the The Associated Press he reiterated that Beijing “will never allow Taiwan to be independent.”
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