Targeting Taiwan is typical Chinese rhetoric — until it’s not

If Beijing is serious about using force to reclaim ‘sacred territory,’ things could get ugly for the world.

The Hamilton Spectator
Date: Jan 6, 2019
By: Gwynne Dyer 

China’s president, Xi Jinping, applauds during an event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 2, 2019. In a speech, Xi warned Taiwan that unification must be the ultimate goal of any talks over its future and that efforts to assert full independence could be met by armed force. – Mark Schief , Pool via The New York Times

“Independence for Taiwan would only bring profound disaster to Taiwan,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Beijing on Wednesday, and he ought to know. He is the one who would make sure the disaster happened.

Speaking on the 40th anniversary of U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Chinese People’s Republic, Xi said that Taiwan was “sacred territory” for Beijing. He would never tolerate “separatist activities” there: “We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means.”

There is a peculiar ambiguity to Beijing’s official statements on Taiwan. On the one hand, nobody in the Communist regime is in a great rush to gather Taiwan back into the fold. It will happen eventually, they believe, and they can wait.

On the other hand, the regime’s credibility (such as it is) comes from only two sources: its nationalist posturing, and its ability to deliver rising living standards. With the latter asset rapidly depreciating — the Chinese economy is heading south — the nationalism becomes more important, so a bit of chest-beating is inevitable.    [FULL  STORY]

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