Hu Xijn, the editor of China’s English language mouthpiece publication geared toward Western audiences, Global Times, is at it again “relaying” Beijing’s threats and warnings.
He took aim at a US Marine Corps authored editorial written in Military Review in a tweet which unleashed headlines, including in Newsweek. The American military publication called for a US ground troops deployment to Taiwan to restore the regional balance of power in Washington’s favor.
The Marine author urged this of the Pentagon “if it is committed to defending Taiwanese sovereignty.” Hu shot back, likely echoing Beijing’s view in his usual hawkish manner, that “the PLA will definitely start a just war to safeguard China’s territorial integrity” if there are US troops stationed in Taiwan.
I must warn people in the US and Taiwan who hold this kind of thinking. Once they take the step of returning US forces to Taiwan, the PLA will definitely start a just war to safeguard China’s territorial integrity. China’s Anti-Secession Law is a tiger with teeth. pic.twitter.com/2FkvAEHUqn
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 24, 2020
This would also of course be seen as a severe violation and breakdown of the ‘One China’ policy status quo.
Thus the US article itself is now stirring already high tensions, as Newsweek summarizes:
The article headlined “Deterring the Dragon,” has [Marine Captain] Mills warning that the current power balance made a surprise attack on Taiwan “more likely” and believes that American leadership has to “face down” international pressure “against a deliberate and more global conflict with China.”
“If Chinese forces can prevent U.S. forces from responding reflexively or immediately to PLA (People’s Liberation Army) aggression, the United States will either accede to a quick PLA victory in a Taiwanese-mainland China conflict or be forced to wage a long, costly campaign to re-establish access to Taiwan with a far from certain outcome,” Mills wrote.
Typically Hu reflects the insider thinking of the Chinese Communist Party, but with a more hawkish tinge.
And while a lone article by a Marine officer in a military publication might be seen in the United States as but one among many perspectives on China adding to the debate, no doubt Beijing sees it very differently – as a veiled Pentagon threat to take precisely such action.Meanwhile since last week China has stepped up military activity and war games in areas near Taiwan and the contested strait, including ‘de-mining’ exercises.