Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to prepare for battle as Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen called for international support to defend the island’s democracy amid renewed threats of unification from the mainland.
Xi’s comments were made during a meeting with top officials from the Central Military Commission (CMC).
“All military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis, and battle. China must prepare for a comprehensive military struggle from a new starting point… Preparation for war and combat must be deepened to ensure an efficient response in times of emergency.”
Xi’s comments come just days after he declared that Taiwan is undisputedly a part of China, encouraged unification between the two territories and reserved the right to use force to bring Taiwan under mainland control if necessary.
Tsai condemned Xi’s comments and rejected the Chinese President’s “one country, two systems” proposal.
“We hope that the international community takes it seriously and can voice support and help us. If a democratic country under threat does not receive assistance, we might have to ask which country might be next?”Tsai Ing-Wen speaking to reporters
Last March, Xi Jinping at the National People’s Congress warned Taiwan that those who wish to split China will be “doomed to fail” and will experience “the punishment of history.”
Taiwan became a self-governed island in 1949 following the defeat of the Nationalist Kuo Min Tang in the Chinese Civil War. Taiwan officially retains the name ‘Republic of China’ but the Beijing government considers it to be no more than a renegade province to be reunified under Communist Party rule. However, Taipei has shown no interest in being governed by Beijing’s ruling Communist Party.