Taiwanese airspace has been inundated by Chinese planes by Chinese planes as part of a huge exercise the island has viewed as a rehearsal for the invasion, but the U.S. is committed to defending the nation
China has reportedly threatened to “hit” US troops in Taiwan “anytime”, fearing the attack could spark global war.
President Xi Jinping has promised “reunification” with the region, while Beijing responded to revelations that US forces are training troops in Taiwan.
China and Taiwan quarrel over fears the communist giant might try to retake the island and fears that World War III could break out.
Taiwanese airspace was visited hundreds of times by Chinese fighter planes as part of a huge exercise that the island saw as a rehearsal for the invasion.
The US is committed to defending Taiwan and its independence
But America will face a devastating choice whether to defend the nation or risk conflict
Taiwan insists it is an independent nation after splitting off from mainland China in 1949.
But one of China’s top newspapers The global time issued a chilling warning to the US.
She claimed that US special forces operating in Taiwan would be tantamount to an “invasion” of mainland China.
And it warned: “As soon as war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, these US military personnel will be the first to be eliminated”.
“The mainland has the right to carry out military strikes against them at any time,” said the vicious editorial published on Friday.
The US was said to face “unbearable” losses if it chooses to defend Taiwan, and mocked Washington for its failure in Afghanistan.
AFP via Getty Images)
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“We need to let them know that they are playing with fire to provoke war and that the consequences of their actions are intolerable for both the US and Taiwan.”
“We have to make Washington understand that it is playing a dangerous game designed to start fire on itself and risk the lives of young US soldiers.”
President Xi’s editorial described a military attack on Taiwan as “an increasingly realistic option”.
The editorial also argued that the US presence will “accelerate” China’s potential military action against Taiwan as it will only “reinforce”[s] the determination of the mainland to bring about reunification by force “.
China’s President Xi meanwhile promised a “reunification” with Taiwan – but did not mention the use of force.
Speaking in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday, Xi said China has a “glorious tradition” of defeating anyone it considers a “separatist”.
He said, “Taiwan’s independence separatism is the greatest obstacle to homeland reunification and the greatest hidden threat to national rejuvenation.”
Xi continued, “Peaceful reunification best serves the general interest of the Chinese nation, including compatriots of Taiwan.
“Nobody should underestimate the steadfast determination, determination and ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“The historic task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled and will definitely be fulfilled.”
His tone was more moderate than his earlier promises to “crush” all attempts by Taiwan to gain independence through the use of armed forces.
Taiwan’s President Su Tseng-chang, meanwhile, blamed China for creating tensions and accusing it of “flexing its muscles”.
Su said, “That is why countries that believe in freedom, democracy and human rights and are based on common values are all working together and have repeatedly warned that China should invade Taiwan.”
But despite Chinese warnings, Beijing has been warned of its own Vietnam if it tries to invade Taiwan.
To conquer the island, China would have to send an enormous number of troops across the Taiwan Strait.
The sun said it would be “the largest amphibious operation in human history”.
Taiwan has 13 beaches suitable for landing, and analysts have dubbed such an invasion “Z-Day”.
Ian Easton, author of The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia, fears that Xi’s words of war could sleepwalk him into an invasion.
He told The Sun, “If he is sane, Xi Jinping will think carefully before ordering an attack on Taiwan and see how quickly events could escape his control.”
“But can we really trust a dictator accused of genocide to act sensibly? That seems unwise. “