Beijing has a warning for Taiwan: toe the line or we’ll do to you what Israel has done to Lebanon—bomb you to pieces.
The National Interest
Date: April 13, 2019
By: Michael Peck
That warning came after U.S. national security adviser John Bolton complained that Chinese J-11 fighters crossed the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, which somewhat unofficially demarcates control of the waters between China and Taiwan. It marked the first time in almost twenty years that Chinese aircraft have done this, with Taiwanese fighters scrambling to intercept them.
China’s pro-government Global Times newspaper predictably denounced the U.S. denunciation, taking aim at several occasions over the last year—and most recently in March—when U.S. warships passed through the Taiwan Straits to dispute China’s assertion that it has sovereignty over the waterway (and Taiwan island, too).
“Washington is choosing the wrong place, time and opponent to flex its muscle in Taiwan Straits,” warned Global Times. If the U.S. military stations forces in Taiwan, China will attack, the article said. If the U.S. sells advanced fighters like the F-16V to Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army will respond.
What’s interesting are what those responses might be. “The PLA has many choices, including crossing the ‘middle line,’ flying over the Taiwan island and even turn Taiwan into a Lebanon-like situation,” the newspaper said. “These choices don’t necessarily lead to war. They are enough to force Taiwan authorities to readjust their radical policies.”