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Global Times

'Reunification by force' sentiment provoked by DPP: spokesperson

Global Times

By Yang Sheng and Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/1/16 0:43:40

'Reunification by force' sentiment provoked

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan secessionist forces have provoked a growing sentiment in the Chinese mainland to reunify the island of Taiwan by military force, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on Wednesday.

The DPP and Taiwan secessionist forces should reflect on why voices are increasing for military force among mainland residents in recent years, Ma Xiaoguang said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Chinese mainland analysts said more people in the mainland are losing faith in peaceful reunification because they believed previous mainland policies of delivering economic benefits to Taiwan went unappreciated.

With the fast-growing strength of the mainland, especially its overwhelming military power, more and more mainlanders hope the government considers a non-peaceful option, experts said.

They believe reunification by force could resolve the Taiwan question in a more effective and efficient way, the experts said.

Ma's statement came on the same day as Taiwan's "anti-infiltration law" went into force.

It was "an absolute evil law that suppresses Taiwan compatriots' free will and strips them of their right to cross-Straits exchanges," Ma said.

In the long term, such a law could not stop the will of the people and the trend that compatriots of both sides of the Straits need to exchange, cooperate and develop together, he said.

"Peace is precious. Everyone yearns for peace and Chinese people should not fight Chinese people," Ma said. "But first, [Taiwan] should recognize that we are of the same family."

Upholding the 1992 Consensus which adheres to the one-China principle is the "unshakeable foundation" for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, Ma said.

Re-elected Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan was already an "independent country" while interviewed by the BBC on Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang replied Wednesday that "There is only one China in the world. The People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.

"The one-China principle is a consensus of the international community."

Li Xiaobing, an expert on Taiwan studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, said "The Chinese mainland government has always made great efforts to keep educating the fact to people that people in Taiwan are compatriots, to create conditions for cross-Straits cooperation and peaceful exchanges, but the Taiwan authorities didn't do this in the same way."

After reading Taiwan media and social media networks, many mainland people were shocked at the hostile and insulting messages against the mainland, said experts.

With the pro-independence DPP continually winning elections, more and more mainland people are losing faith in peaceful reunification and begin to oppose the policy of delivering economic benefits to Taiwan.

Asked if mainland residents' self-guided travel to Taiwan could resume, Ma said travel was allowed "under the condition of peaceful and stable cross-Straits relations. We hope to see the relations return to the right track."

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) was once unable to reunify Taiwan without serious casualties, especially when the US was involved in 1995-96, the mainland experts said.

But now the mainland's military strength is increasingly mature and the advantage is more and more overwhelming, they noted.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the PLA is now in an absolute dominant position in all aspects over Taiwan's military and two PLA aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, could secure aerial and maritime superiority around the island to prevent intervention by external forces.

PLA amphibious landing docks and assault ships could send armored assault vehicles with hovercrafts onto the island, while also dispatching helicopters to form a multidimensional landing force, Wei said.

The PLA's stealth J-20 fighter "would crush Taiwan's most advanced fighter jet the F-16Vs," Wei said.

The Chinese mainland launched its first Type 075 amphibious assault ship in 2019, which has yet to enter naval service.

More of this type of warship is needed for the PLA to send transport and attack helicopters as well as ground forces across the Taiwan Straits efficiently, analysts said.

The eventual commissioning of multiple Type 075s would be the nail in the coffin of Taiwan secessionists, as the PLA operates rocket artillery and missiles which could be used to suppress the island's military infrastructure and bases once battle starts, the observers noted.

But there is always room for improvement, Wei said.

The PLA should conduct more joint landing operations combining all military branches, Wei said.

This combat pattern is new to the PLA and targeted training is needed, he noted.

Mainland observers stressed that of course the peaceful approach is always best, even when the mainland is perfectly prepared for a military solution.

It would be extremely difficult to realize this peaceful solution without efforts from the Taiwan side, they noted.



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