China should invade Taiwan, seen by Beijing as a breakaway province, and reunite it by force, the state media said on Thursday, days after US president-elect Donald Trump questioned the efficacy of the “One-China” policy.
Weeks before assuming office, Trump angered China by directly speaking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen - the first such conversation between Washington and Taipei in decades - and talking about breaking the longstanding US policy of looking at Taiwan as part of mainland China.
China reacted to Trump through government officials and the state media. On Thursday, the nationalistic Global Times tabloid, affiliated to the Communist Party of China‘s mouthpiece People’s Daily, came out with the strongest riposte yet.
An editorial in the newspaper called for reshaping China’s Taiwan policy, saying it should not be dictated by the US or Tsai’s party, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“If the Chinese mainland won't pile on more pressure over realising reunification by using force, the chance of peaceful unification will only slip away,” it said.
”The future of Taiwan must not be shaped by the DPP and Washington, but by the Chinese mainland. It is hoped that peace in the Taiwan Straits won't be disrupted. But the Chinese mainland should display its resolution to recover Taiwan by force. Peace does not belong to cowards,” the editorial added.
Beijing should nurture forces in Taiwan, that want unification, it said.
“The military status quo across the Taiwan Straits needs to be reshaped as a response and punishment to the current administration of the Democratic Progressive Party's destruction of the political status quo in cross-Straits ties. And we should also foster forces which support reunification through a variety of ways on the island,” it said.
“It is possible for Washington to activate the Taiwan card in a crude manner at any moment. The tacit understanding and hidden rules made between China and the US over the Taiwan Straits can hardly be respected for long. Even the one-China policy can be attacked unexpectedly. That mirrors the fact that we are far from able to control the destructiveness of the Taiwan question,” the editorial said.
On Wednesday, An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that “healthy and steady development of China-US ties will be out of the question if the basis of sticking to the one-China principle is disturbed or damaged”.
The Taiwan issue is “about China's sovereignty and territorial integrity” and any “breach of the principle will have a serious impact on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, An said.
A majority of countries, including India, officially consider Taiwan - a functioning democracy with a free press - as part of China while maintaining diplomatic, trade and cultural ties by proxy.
In a recent interview, Trump said: “I fully understand the one-China policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by the one-China policy unless we make a deal with China.”