Two Chinese Communist Party Su-30s take off from unknown location to patrol South China Sea (Oct. 3, 2021)
U.S. military officials warned Tuesday that the Chinese Communist Party’s relentless crackdown on Taiwan will only increase the chances of miscalculation and accidental combat.
The Pentagon accused Beijing of raising tensions in the Taiwan Strait and cautioned that “provocative” tactics could have the opposite effect.
Speaking to reporters, Pentagon Press Secretary Kirby said, “The People’s Republic of China has intensified its intimidation and pressure on Taiwan and other partners and allies, including by stepping up military activities near Taiwan and in the East and South China Seas. We believe this is destabilizing and only raises the risk of miscalculation.”
Kirby also said the U.S. commitment to Taiwan remains “rock solid.”
“Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is in our enduring interest, which is why we will continue to help Taiwan maintain adequate self-defense capabilities,” he said, “and we urge Beijing to abide by its commitment to resolve cross-Strait differences peacefully.”
A heated rhetorical exchange erupted between the Communist Party’s increasingly public push for cross-strait reunification and Taiwanese leaders who want to maintain Taiwan’s autonomy.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday during a National Day ceremony, “We will do our utmost to prevent the status quo from being changed unilaterally.”
She added, “We will continue to enrich our national defense and show our determination to defend ourselves to ensure that no one can force us to go down the path set by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Communist Party President Xi Jinping previously declared on Saturday that reunification with Taiwan “must be achieved.”
He said, “No one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and powerful ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Chinese Communist media have also slammed reports that U.S. special forces and Marines are training Taiwan’s military in Taiwan.
U.S. defense officials have repeatedly declined to comment on the training of Taiwanese troops, first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Kirby said Tuesday in response, “I’m not going to make any public comment on those reports.”
U.S. military and intelligence officials have become increasingly concerned about the increasingly offensive military posture of the Chinese Communist Party toward Taiwan, which last week sent more than 150 aircraft to invade Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
U.S. military officials also questioned in June whether the Chinese Communist Party has the ability to seize Taiwan by force.
U.S. Senate President Adm. Milley said at the time that “it will take some time for the Chinese Communist Party to develop the actual capability to launch a military operation by military means to seize the entire island of Taiwan, if that’s what they wish to do.”
He added that the likelihood of launching an attack was low. “I don’t think there’s a lot of intent or incentive to take military action on this at this point,” he said, “but unifying Taiwan is a core national interest of China.”