- State-backed newspaper said there is ‘almost no room for manoeuvre, teetering on the edge of a face-off’
- It claimed that China was ready for all-out war with the US, warning that Taiwan was ‘playing with fire’
- Taiwan, a democracy which considers itself a sovereign state, urged China to halt its ‘proactive actions’
- Joe Biden said he had spoken to President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and that he would abide by agreement
- However, that conversation took place on Sept. 9 and it’s not entirely clear what agreement was reached
- Taiwan has warned that without help from its allies, Chinese ‘authoritarianism’ will replace its democracy
- British and American aircraft carriers were pictured sailing though Philippine Sea in a show of strength
An article in the state-backed Global Times newspaper on Tuesday said that ‘collusion’ between the US and Taiwan was so ‘audacious’ that the situation ‘has almost lost any room for manoeuvre, teetering on the edge of a face-off.’
It claimed that the people of China were ready to back all-out war with the US, warning the island nation against ‘playing with fire’.
Almost 150 Chinese warplanes have breached Taiwan’s airspace since Friday, including 56 jets on Monday in a dramatic escalation of Chinese aggression against the self-governing democracy.
‘I’ve spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree…we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement,’ Biden said to reporters at the White House on Tuesday.
However, that call took place on September 9 and it’s not clear what agreement he was referring to.
It may have been a nod to Washington’s long-standing policy under which the US officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the US decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to guard Taiwan against invasion as she indicated that without help from the country’s allies ‘authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.’
It comes as British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (‘Big Lizzie’) was shown sailing in the Philippine Sea in a joint exercise with two US carriers – the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson – and Japan’s helicopter destroyer JS Ise.
The armada, which also includes a number of warships from six different countries in total, trained together over the weekend in the region amid the rising tensions.
The recent voyages through the Strait of Taiwan by the British and American navies, coupled with the new Aukus defence pact have infuriated Beijing and sparked more shows of strength in the South China Sea.
Pictured: Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth warship (second right at the head of the armada) took part in joint training with warships from six different countries over the weekend in the Philippine Sea amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan
China warned that World War Three could be triggered ‘at any time’ on Tuesday after it sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace. Recent voyages through the Strait of Taiwan by the British and American navies (pictured), coupled with the new Aukus defence pact have infuriated Beijing and sparked more shows of strength in the South China Sea
Nearly 150 Chinese warplanes have breached Taiwan’s airspace since Friday, including nuclear-capable bombers on Monday in a dramatic increase in aggressionTaiwan releases propaganda video amid China warplanes
What is the Taiwan Relations Act?
Biden told reporters Tuesday that he had ‘spoken with Xi about Taiwan. We agree … we’ll abide by the Taiwan agreement.’
Biden appeared to be referring to Washington’s long-standing policy under which it officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, and the Taiwan Relations Act, which makes clear that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing instead of Taiwan rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.
Biden also appeared to be referencing a 90-minute call he held with Xi on Sept. 9, their first talks in seven months.
While that act binds the United States to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, Washington only acknowledges China’s stance that the island belongs to it and that there is ‘one China’, and takes no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it had sought clarification from the United States about Biden’s comments, and were reassured U.S. policy towards Taiwan had not changed, the U.S. commitment to them was ‘rock solid’ and that the U.S. will continue to help Taiwan maintain its defenses.
‘Facing the Chinese government’s military, diplomatic and economic threats, Taiwan and the United States have always maintained close and smooth communication channels,’ it said, noting recent U.S. comments of concern about China’s activities.
President Xi Jinping has described the seizure of the self-governed democracy as ‘inevitable’ and Beijing has ratcheted up pressure on Tsai since she was elected in 2016 on a mandate of an ‘independent’ Taiwan.
In another chilling piece of propaganda on Monday, The Global Times ran a piece which asked ‘whether Australia is willing to accompany Taiwan… to become cannon fodder’ after its foreign minister reached out for help preparing his defences.
Australia has been on the receiving end of Chinese wrath over the last few weeks after it signed a new alliance with the UK and the US.
As part of the deal, Washington and London agreed to share nuclear submarine technology with Canberra.
Beijing is incensed by the move because it will dramatically shift the power balance in the South China Sea, where it fights for influence with the West over smaller countries like Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
In an article published on Tuesday, Tawain’s president Tsai said: ‘They should remember that if Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system.
‘It would signal that in today’s global contest of values, authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.’
Taiwan hopes for peaceful coexistence with China, she said, but ‘if its democracy and way of life are threatened, Taiwan will do whatever it takes to defend itself.’
Tsai’s government on Monday urged Beijing to stop ‘irresponsible provocative actions’ after the warplanes breached Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).
‘Amid almost daily intrusions by the People’s Liberation Army, our position on cross-strait relations remains constant: Taiwan will not bend to pressure,’ Tsai added.
The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan’s territorial airspace but includes a far greater area that overlaps with part of China’s own air defence identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.
A Taiwan flag is carried across the sky on Tuesday during a national day rehearsal in Taipei, Taiwan,
President Tsai Ing-wen (pictured right in October 2020 in Taipei) vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to guard Taiwan against invasion as she warned that if the country’s allies allowed it to fall ‘it would signal that authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.’ President Xi Jinping (pictured left in Beijing last month) has described the seizure of the self-governed democracy as ‘inevitable’ and Beijing has ratcheted up pressure on Tsai since she was elected in 2016 on a mandate of an ‘independent’ Taiwan
Chinese state media on Monday accompanied the military incursion with threats to Taiwan.
Global Times editor Hu Xijin tweeted that it is ‘only a matter of time before Taiwan’s separatist authorities fall’ – describing the weekend’s show-of-force as a ‘military parade’ to mark China’s National Day on October 1.
An editorial in the same newspaper then added that – unlike the ‘guard of honour’ in traditional parades – the planes flown towards Taiwan at the weekend ‘are fighting forces aimed at actual combat’.
‘The increase in the number of aircraft showed the PLA Air Force’s operational capabilities,’ the newspaper said, adding: ‘It is a clear and unmistakable declaration of China’s sovereignty over the island.’
The operations are designed to familiarise pilots with ‘battlefield conditions’ so that ‘once the order to attack is given’ they will be able to fight like ‘experienced veterans’, the editorial concluded.
‘There is no doubt about the future of the situation across the Taiwan Straits.
‘The initiative of when and how to solve the Taiwan question is firmly in the hands of the Chinese mainland.’
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34 J-16 fighters (file image) were among 52 Chinese planes flown into Taiwan’s ADIZ
Twelve nuclear-capable H-6 bombers also flew in the sortie, along with two Su-30 fighters and several other military aircraft