China has withdrawn a pledge not to send troops or administrative personnel to Taiwan if it controls the island, an official document shows, in an apparent sign of President Xi Jinping’s decision to grant less autonomy than before.
On Wednesday, China released its latest white paper on autonomous Taiwan Unprecedented live-fire military exercise day Chinese troops were attacked by Chinese troops near the self-governing island, which Beijing claims as its territory.
New position paper reiterates China Threats to use force to control Taiwan The live-fire drills that took place in the wake of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week appear to be winding down.
China’s military said on Wednesday that it had “completed various tasks around Taiwan” but would conduct regular patrols, which could herald the end of days of military exercises, but Beijing will continue to pressure Taiwan.
A statement from the Chinese military indicates that its exercises near Taiwan have ended after nearly a week ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/vBv9Mozjv6
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 10, 2022
The PLA’s Eastern Theater Command said in a brief statement that its series of joint military operations in the sea and airspace around Taiwan “successfully completed various tasks and effectively tested the troops’ comprehensive combat capabilities.”
“The theater troops will pay close attention to the changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, continue to carry out training and preparations, organize regular combat readiness patrols in the direction of the Taiwan Strait, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
There was no immediate reaction from Taiwan.
China’s military exercises included ballistic missile launches, some of which flew over Taiwan’s capital Taipei, and simulated sea and air attacks in the skies and waters surrounding Taiwan.
A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Chinese naval ships remained active on Taiwan’s east and west coasts.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Chinese navy activities continued near the central line, an unofficial buffer zone in the Taiwan Strait, where Chinese fighter jets also continued to fly, the sources said, adding that Taiwan had sent planes and ships in the area. to monitor the situation.
“Do not renounce the use of force”
The white paper, released in English on Wednesday, said Beijing would “do its utmost to achieve peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity”.
“But we will not renounce the use of force and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to prevent external interference and all divisive activities,” the statement said.
“We will stand ready to respond to interference by external forces or radical actions by separatists by force or other necessary means. Our ultimate goal is to secure the prospect of China’s peaceful reunification and advance the process.”
China said in two Taiwan white papers in 1993 and 2000 that it “will not send troops or administrative personnel to Taiwan” after achieving what Beijing calls “reunification.”
The line, which is to guarantee Taiwan’s autonomy after becoming a special administrative region of China, did not appear in the latest paper.
In the 2000 white paper, the phrase “As long as Taiwan recognizes that there is only one China and does not seek independence, anything can be negotiated” is also missing in the latest white paper.
China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed that Taiwan could resume its rule under a “one country, two systems” model, similar to that of the former British colony. Hong Kong returned to China in 1997.
‘Full of lies’
Correspondent Patrick Hawke, who reports for Al Jazeera in Beijing, said Taiwan may have “little interest” in China’s latest statement on reunification in the white paper.
“In that white paper, China also reiterated its call for Taiwan to rejoin under the ‘one country, two systems’ model, if you will,” Fox said.
“But you have to imagine that there’s been very little interest in this after what’s happened in recent days, and because of the way China has implemented the one-China-two-systems model in Hong Kong.”
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council on Wednesday condemned the white paper, calling it “full of wishful thinking and disregarding the facts.”
“Only the 23 million people of Taiwan have the right to decide the future of Taiwan, and they will never accept the outcome set by the authoritarian regime,” the committee said.
Opinion polls show that all mainstream political parties in Taiwan have long rejected the “one country, two systems” proposal, with little public support.
Since the late 1990s, the island has transformed from an authoritarian state to a vibrant democracy, with a distinct Taiwanese identity emerging.
Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated markedly since Tsai Ing-wen became president in 2016.
Tsai Ing-wen and her party do not consider Taiwan part of China.
Their platform falls under China’s broad definition of Taiwanese separatism, which includes those who advocate Taiwan having a separate identity from the mainland.
The updated white paper is titled “The Taiwan Issue and China’s Unification in the New Era.”
“New Era” is a term commonly used when Xi Jinping is in power. Xi Jinping is expected to serve a third term at the Communist Party Congress later this year.
Taiwan has lived under the threat of a Chinese invasion since 1949, when the defeated government of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan after Mao Zedong’s Communist Party won a civil war.