Thursday, September 24, 2020

Returning US forces to Taiwan will ‘trigger reunification-by-force operation’

Returning US forces to Taiwan

Amid ongoing large-scale exercises by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the Taiwan Straits targeting foreign interventions and Taiwan secessionists, an article recently published in a US military journal urged the US to consider returning US forces to the island, a move that would break the Three Joint Communiqués between China and the US that stipulated all US forces and military installations withdrawn from the Chinese island.

This crazy suggestion does no good for people in Taiwan, and if it was to come true, the PLA would take resolute military action and realize reunification by force, Chinese mainland analysts said on Thursday, citing China's Anti-Secession Law.

The two PLA aircraft carriers have recently completed regular exercises and sea trials respectively. Experts said the carriers could play vital roles in taking over the island.

In an article titled "Deterring the Dragon: Returning US Forces to Taiwan" published in the September-October 2020 issue of the Military Review, the professional journal of the US Army, Captain Walker D. Mills of the US Marine Corps said that the US needs to consider basing ground forces in Taiwan as the balance of forces in East Asia continues to tip in favor of the PLA.

Mills claimed that the presence of US ground forces could not only repel a PLA cross-Straits operation but also serve as a tripwire that would inevitably trigger a wider conflict not acceptable to the Chinese mainland.

Another article in the journal said the US Army should provide a corps of two-to-four divisions plus supporting units to spearhead offensives against the PLA bridgeheads.

If the US does deploy troops to Taiwan, it not only breaks the Three Joint Communiqués fundamental to China-US diplomatic relations, but also triggers articles in China's Anti-Secession Law and enables the state to employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese mainland analysts said.

Despite that the US has been enhancing military cooperation with Taiwan island, including sending military consultants, the US military has remained cautious in stationing troops in the island, because it knows this kind of action will send China-US relations back to pre-1979 level, a status of confrontation, Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The US would have to weigh and consider balance, Song said.

The US must think twice and not challenge China's bottom line on its core interests such as the Taiwan question, Song said, noting that the PLA will not hesitate to fight, but to the US, Taiwan island is only a cash cow and pawn to pin down the Chinese mainland, and the US will abandon the island if it hurts US interests......



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