China issued a strong warning that Taiwan independence would mean war. Photo/Illustration
BEIJING – China is willing to provide “ample space” for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but will not tolerate separatist activities. The warning was issued by government spokesman Chen Binhua.
The Chinese official responded to comments by pro-Taiwan independence politicians ahead of the presidential election on the self-governing island.
According to media reports, Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim, both from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, recently claimed that the island continues to be threatened by attacks from the mainland.
Lai, who calls himself a “worker for Taiwan independence,” is campaigning for office in January’s presidential election and has chosen Hsiao, a former envoy to the United States (US), as his running mate.
Chen, a spokesman for China’s State Council for Taiwan Affairs Office, said Beijing would show no leniency towards forces in Taiwan if they promote separatism.
He cited Beijing’s 2005 Anti-secession Law, which reiterated that China views Taiwan as an inalienable part of its territory. The law allows Beijing to use arbitrary and non-peaceful means to achieve unification with the island, which has been self-ruled since 1949 and during the Chinese Civil War.
“I want to emphasize that Taiwan independence means war,” said Chen while condemning Lai and Hsiao as separatists as quoted from RT, Wednesday (29/11/2023).
He further accused the pair of distorting facts and downplaying the risk of separatist activities to deceive voters ahead of the 2024 elections.
At a meeting with US President Joe Biden in California earlier this month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned that Taiwan potentially remains the most dangerous issue in relations between Washington and Beijing.
Under the Taiwan Enhanced Defense Act of 2022, the US government is authorized to spend up to $2 billion per year in military grant aid to the island from 2023 to 2027. Meanwhile, Taiwan has more than $14 billion in US military equipment on order .