Taiwan would run into a “dead end” if it attempted to deny reunification by using force, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China’s Ministry of National Defense and spokesperson said during the December 27th, Chinese Ministry of Defense press conference.
The entire exchange between the Wu Qian and a journalist was as follows:
“Media in Taiwan said that a PLAAF aircraft flying around Taiwan this month carried combat warheads. And Taiwan’s defense agency also said that the real combat capabilities of mainland China are advancing rapidly. What’s your comment?”
“You mentioned that Taiwan’s defense agency said that PLA’s (People’s Liberation Army) real combat capabilities were advancing rapidly. As for my comment, I should say I agree with that. I noticed that in the media report, Taiwan’s defense agency also said that this move deserved alert from Taiwan. I want to stress that it is a dead end to deny reunification by using force,” the spokesperson answered.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said it saw PLA H-6 heavy bombers, Y-8 transport aircraft and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets leaving Guangdong’s Huiyang airbase on Tuesday morning for a patrol over the Bashi Channel.
A questioned was asked regarding the flight that happened on December 18th. The answer that Wu Qian gave was that “it is PLA’s duty to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and protect national security.”
According to the South China Morning Post, the warning directly comes as a response to an announcement by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry saying that it may purchase 66 F-16V fighter jets from the US to reinforce the island’s air defense capability.
“Beijing is very unhappy to see the US is continuing arms sales to Taipei, as well as promoting more US-Taiwan official and military exchanges,” said Arthur Ding, an associate research fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm.
According to the SCMP, the Taiwanese military also detected two more PLA warships sailing outside of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. According to Beijing they were taking part in a routine training exercise.
Wu Qian also praised Chinese progress in modernizing its military:
“China follows the principle of self-reliance and independent innovation on the development of weapons and equipment, and mainly relied on its own strength for research and production. In recent years, in line with the process of national modernization, the Chinese military has pushed forward the modernization of weapons and equipment in an all-round way, and so far it has basically completed a modern system of weapons and equipment with complete functions and elements.”
Thus, despite the SCMP trying to present it as a sign of aggression by China, most, if not all of the citations in the article were taken out of context.