For months now, the world has been wondering just when China is finally going to pounce, especially after they’ve witnessed the unwillingness of the international community to intervene in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
For Beijing, the target will almost certainly be Taiwan – an independently-governed territory that China wants the world to recognize as belonging to them. And, for years, China has been not-so-subtly threatening to overtake the island nation.
This week, the US Secretary of State issued a rather ominous warning regarding their potential plans.
China has made a decision to seize Taiwan on a “much faster timeline” than previously thought, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, shortly after China’s leader reiterated his intent to take the island by force if necessary.
“There has been a change in the approach from Beijing toward Taiwan in recent years,” Blinken said in an event at Stanford University in California.
China was not pleased with Blinken sticking his nose in their business.
The remarks from America’s top diplomat on Monday come as China holds its twice-a-decade Communist party congress, and shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping used a widely-watched speech on Sunday to say the “wheels of history are rolling on towards China’s reunification” with Taiwan. While peaceful means were preferable, Xi added, “we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary.”
Responding to Blinken’s remarks on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin criticized the US for selling billions in advanced weapons to Taiwan and accused the Biden administration of encouraging the island’s move toward formal independence.
“Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese,” Wang told reporters at a regular briefing. “We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification, but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form.”
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that the United States would respond militarily to any Chinese aggression in Taiwan, but the White House has looked to walk those comments back as soon as they’ve arrived.