China Defiant: Taiwan’s Fate Dangles in the Balance

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PLA’s Warning to Taiwan: “Self-Destruction” for Separation

In a defiant message at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, China’s Defense Minister, Admiral Dong Jun, issued a stern warning to Taiwan separatists. Addressing the gathering, he declared, “Anyone who dares to separate Taiwan from China will only end up in self-destruction.”

Beijing’s Commitment to Reunification

Dong reiterated China’s unwavering stance that Taiwan is an integral part of the nation. He emphasized Beijing’s commitment to peaceful reunification, stating, “We have no intention of targeting our Taiwan compatriots. However, we will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity with all our might.”

Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun speaks at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on June 2, 2024. (Source: Nhac Nguyen | AFP | Getty Images)

Accusations of Separatist Forces

The admiral launched into a critique of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), accusing them of fostering a separatist agenda. He cited President Lai Ching-te’s inaugural speech as evidence of this ambition and condemned the party’s alleged attempts to erase China’s identity and limit communication between Taiwan and the mainland.

“Outside Forces” Implicated

Dong’s address also targeted unnamed “outside forces” that he claimed are aiding Taiwan separatists. “We know some big power keeps hollowing out the ‘One China’ principle, distorted facts and even misinterpret U.N. General Assembly resolutions,” he said, without explicitly naming any country.

The minister hinted at violations of commitments made to China regarding Taiwan and pointed fingers at those sending “wrong signals” to separatists. “These kinds of behavior… make them become very aggressive,” he declared. “I think its it’s clear what is the foreign power’s purpose: they try to contain China using Taiwan.”

South China Sea Concerns

Addressing regional tensions, Dong turned his focus to the South China Sea. He criticized the Philippines for allegedly breaking a promise by not recognizing agreements related to Second Thomas Shoal. He labeled this behavior as “blackmail and hijacking rules.”

In contrast, Dong portrayed China’s Coast Guard as acting “very restrained” and restated Beijing’s commitment to resolving disputes peacefully. However, he warned that “our tolerance for deliberate provocation will be limited.”

Taiwan at the Heart of Core Interests

Despite being given the opportunity to address other global issues, Dong demonstrated China’s priorities by dedicating most of his Q&A session to Taiwan and the South China Sea. He emphasized that China’s concerns about Taiwan were “the core of our core interest.” “Facing the strong People’s Liberation Army, their efforts will be futile, and their efforts can only lead to accelerated demise,” he declared.