Li Kexin, a Chinese diplomat in the United States, has warned that China would invade Taiwan if the US sends its navy vessels to Taiwan Strait.
Kexin, a minister with the Chinese Embassy to the United States, said these words during an embassy event on Friday. According to the Reuters, he told American officials that China’s Anti-Secession Law would be activated in the event of US naval vessels entering Taiwan Strait.
“The day that a US Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung is the day that our People’s Liberation Army unifies Taiwan with military force,” Li told Chinese media, referring to Taiwan’s largest port.
Chinese newspaper The Global Times, owned by the Chinese Communist Party, published the views of Li in an editorial.
“The Chinese mainland has never given up the option of Taiwan reunification by force, which is clear to people across the Taiwan Strait,” the editorial read.
“Li’s words have sent a warning to Taiwan and drew a clear red line. If Taiwan attempts to hold an independence referendum or other activities in pursuit of de jure ‘Taiwan independence,’ the PLA will undoubtedly take action.”
China considers Taiwan one of its provinces and suspects that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen would declare the island’s formal independence in coming years. The Anti-Secession Law that was passed in 2005 denies the separate statehood of Taiwan.
On the other hand, relations between the US and Taiwan have strengthened in the past one year under the presidency of Donald Trump. Trump had even directly spoken with the Taiwanese president after becoming the president.
On Saturday, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry criticized Li’s statement. The Ministry accused China of using threats to intimidate its neighbors and said Beijing has failed to understand the true meaning of democracy.
“These methods show a lack of knowledge about the real meaning of the democratic system and how a democratic society works,” the ministry wrote in a statement.
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