Amid suggestions for the United States to deploy its troops to Taiwan, Chinese military experts have warned that any such decision will compell the PLA to exercise re-unification by force.
Recently, in an article “Deterring the Dragon: Returning US Forces to Taiwan”, published US Army professional journal, Captain Walker D. Mills of the US Marine Corps, called for the US forces to bring back troops to the island nation in a bid to foil any Chinese attack.
“The United States needs to recognize that its conventional deterrence against PLA action to reunify Taiwan may not continue to hold without a change in force posture. Deterrence should always be prioritized over open conflict between peer or near-peer states because of the exorbitant cost of a war between them,”
“If the United States wants to maintain credible conventional deterrence against a PLA attack on Taiwan, it needs to consider basing troops in Taiwan,” said Mills.
The suggestion has not gone down well in China which has already shown displeasure owing to the increasing military ties between the US and Taiwan.
Liu Xuanzun, while writing an editorial for Global Times, a daily newspaper under the auspices of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said – “This crazy suggestion does no good for people in Taiwan, and if it was to come true, the PLA would take resolute military action and realize reunification by force.”
Global Times Editor Hu Xijin, also took to Twitter to slam the US Marine Corps’ column in the September-October edition of the Military Review.
He Tweeted, “I must warn people in the US and Taiwan who hold this kind of thinking. Once they take the step of returning US forces to Taiwan, the PLA will definitely start a just war to safeguard China’s territorial integrity. China’s Anti-Secession Law is a tiger with teeth.”
I must warn people in the US and Taiwan who hold this kind of thinking. Once they take the step of returning US forces to Taiwan, the PLA will definitely start a just war to safeguard China’s territorial integrity. China’s Anti-Secession Law is a tiger with teeth.
I must warn people in the US and Taiwan who hold this kind of thinking. Once they take the step of returning US forces to Taiwan, the PLA will definitely start a just war to safeguard China’s territorial integrity. China’s Anti-Secession Law is a tiger with teeth. pic.twitter.com/2FkvAEHUqn
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 24, 2020
Promulgated with Presidential Decree No. 34 by then-President Hu Jintao, China’s Anti-Secession Law authorizes the use of force against Taiwan in the event Beijing judges it to have seceded.
The law which was ratified in March 2005, is relatively short with just ten articles, however, it has been met with a lot of criticism for the formalisation of China’s long-standing policy of using “non-peaceful means” against “Taiwan Independence Movement” in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence.
Another military expert labelled that redeployment of troops would bring a break in the US-China ties, which have already been deteriorating in recent times.
“If the US does deploy troops to Taiwan, it not only breaks the Three Joint Communiqués fundamental to China-US diplomatic relations but also triggers articles in China’s Anti-Secession Law and enables the state to employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”
The Three Joint Communiqués are a collection of three joint statements made between the US and China’s governments, playing a crucial role in their relations.
Under the statements, the US had declared to end formal political ties with Taiwan, while preserving economic and cultural ties with it and also declared to gradually decrease arms sales to the island nation.
However, the recently proposed arms deal worth $7 billion between the two which will see Taipei acquire advanced weaponry from Washington is not going on the same lines as the agreement.
Tensions have been skyrocketed in the South China Sea region since the independent military exercises of the US and Chinese forces. Recently, it was noted that two PLA aircraft carriers completed their regular exercises and sea trials and experts believe that the two could have a major role in taking over the island nation of Taiwan.
“In such an event (of redeployment of US troops), the PLA would initiate operations using naval and air forces to lockdown the island of Taiwan, cut off its connection with the outside world and stop US forces from further intervening.” said a Beijing-based military expert.