By Mac Molli
China announced it was ready for war today if Taiwan makes any move towards independence, accusing the United States of threatening global stability and denouncing U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department approved sending $2.2 billion worth of defense equipment to Taiwan, including stinger missiles and tanks. China claims they will impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved with the deals. Chinese Defense Minister Wu Qian outlined in a statement about military strategy that China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, adding, “However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end. If there are people who dare to try to split Taiwan from the country, China’s military will be ready to go to war to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity.”
Earlier this month, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited the U.S. and said that democracy must be defended,claiming their island faced threats from ‘overseas forces,’ clearly referencing China. “The challenges we face only serve to strengthen our resolve to engage with the international community,” she said. “The 23 million people of Taiwan have a right to participate in international affairs and this right should not be subject to political preconditions.”
The U.S. State Department said there has been no change in the U.S. One-China policy. Washington officially recognizes Beijing as the Capital, not Taipei, despite assisting Taiwan. The One-China policy states there is only one sovereign state under the name China, despite the fact that there are two states, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), whose official names incorporate ‘China.’ The One-China Policy was first stated in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972 stating, "the United States acknowledges that Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States does not challenge that position."
Forty years ago, the U.S Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act meant to support the governing authorities of Taiwan. The act does not guarantee the U.S. will intervene if the People’s Republic of China attacks or invades Taiwan, nor does it require them to intervene. Its purpose is to ensure the U.S.-Taiwan policy determines any decision to defend Taiwan will be made with the consent of Congress. The Chinese ministry claims the United States has “provoked intensified competition among other major countries, significantly increased its defense expenditure… and undermined global strategic stability.”
Taiwan called on China to renounce its claims that they will use force against the island hours after the Chinese warned they are ready for war if Taiwan moves towards independence. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council later said in a statement that Beijing’s “provocative behavior ... seriously violated the peace principle in international laws and relations, challenging regional safety and order. We urge Beijing authorities to renounce irrational, malicious acts such as the use of force, and to improve cross-strait relations and handle issues including Hong Kong rationally, so that it can be a responsible regional member.”