China should be prepared to take Taiwan by force, a state-run newspaper has said, following US President-elect Donald Trump's controversial decision to break with decades of protocol and engage with Taiwan.
The President-elect provoked uproar after he spoke directly with Taiwan’s president, the first time the countries' leaders have talked since 1979.
The controversy intensified after he indicated his administration could exploit the four-decade long “One China Policy” in future negotiations with Beijing.
The arrangement stipulates that a nation can maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan or China, but not both.
“The Chinese mainland should display its resolution to recover Taiwan by force,” an editorial in the Global Times, a communist state-owned daily said.
The threat of military action was needed to maintain peace, the editorial insisted, saying: “Peace does not belong to cowards.”
“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 added.
China has acted in recent years to encourage trade with Taiwan, but relations cooled earlier in 2015 after the island elected Tsai Ing-wen as it’s President, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has traditionally supported formal independence from China, rather than the current state of de facto autonomy.
“The military status quo across the Taiwan Straits needs to be reshaped as a response and punishment to the current administration of the DPP’s destruction of the political status quo in cross-Straits ties,” the editorial said.
Mr Trump has previously said he would use the One China policy as leverage over Beijing in future negotiations.
“I fully understand the One China policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
Beijing responded saying it would never bargain with Washington over issues of national sovereignty and urging the incoming administration to “recognise the sensitivity of the Taiwan question”.
Ambassador Cui Tiankai, told US company executives: “Basic norms of international relations should be observed, not ignored, certainly not be seen as something you can trade off.
“And indeed, national sovereignty and territorial integrity are not bargaining chips. Absolutely not. I hope everybody would understand that,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
The Global Times said “time will tell” whether the Trump administration would “willfully utilise the One China policy as leverage to blackmail Beijing or restrain itself in actual practice”.
“In any case, the current farce has made China vigilant," it added.
Earlier this month the state-owned newspaper launched an attack on the US President-elect, saying he had "overestimated the US's capability of dominating the world" and "probably has no knowledge of what he is talking about" with regards to China-Taiwan relations.
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