The Chinese Ambassador to the US made threatening statements on Thursday, declaring that if Taiwan attempts to assert its independence from the communist giant, the US and China will have a “military conflict” as a result.
Ambassador Qin Gang said in an interview that China would not tolerate Taiwan “walking down the road” toward a claim of independence. He added that if Taiwan is “emboldened” by the US, the result would “most likely” put the US into a military conflict with China.
Even as world attention is directed at Russia’s aggressive posturing toward neighboring Ukraine, China continues to increase its activity related to Taiwan since Joe Biden assumed office.
China sent warplanes on a mission through Taiwan’s airspace just days ago. The incursion into the country’s southwestern Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was the largest crossing into Taiwan’s claimed territory since last October. At that time, China sent 38 aircraft, including some capable of deploying nuclear weapons, into the Taiwanese ADIZ.
Taiwan is the last remaining democratic country that was part of the Chinese government before the takeover by the Chinese Communist Party in the twentieth century. Last year, the People’s Republic of China dictator Xi Jinping promised that his nation would “reunify” Taiwan with China and harshly deal with any claim of independence.
The Obama Administration oversaw the sale of $1.83 billion in military weapons to Taiwan’s military in 2015 over the objections of the PRC. During his presidential campaign in 2020, Joe Biden said that he would support America’s commitment to protecting Taiwan from any Chinese attack. Since assuming office, Biden has backed away from those statements and has said Taiwan’s future is up to it. He said last November that he is “not encouraging” Taiwan’s independence.
In his statement last week, Qin said that China does not wish to pursue the war to consolidate its claim on Taiwan. He said China considers the Taiwanese “compatriots” and does not wish to fight. He went on to say that US support of independence for Taiwan would stand in the way of “peaceful reunification.”