New crisis in Taiwan Strait likely: Paper

SHANGHAI • China should be prepared for crisis in the Taiwan Strait, the hawkish Global Times newspaper said in an editorial yesterday, amid rising tension between Beijing and Washington over the self-ruled island that China sees as a wayward province.

The United States has ramped up pressure on China in the disputed South China Sea, with reports of US bombers flying over the region this week. Reuters reported that Washington was considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait.

China and the US - currently in heated talks over trade - have frequently sparred over questions of militarisation of the South China Sea, where China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines all have competing claims.

"China and the US are likely to face a new Taiwan Strait crisis sooner or later. China needs to make early preparation," the state-backed Chinese tabloid said. The newspaper does not reflect official policy.

"The Chinese mainland is not afraid of any crisis in the Taiwan Strait, even a showdown, so as to quash US and Taiwan aggressiveness and safeguard national unity," it said.

The rise in tensions over Taiwan comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations. The two countries are locked in negotiations to avoid a full-blown trade war.

The comments reflect earlier statements by the newspaper, which said last month that China must prepare to forcefully respond to any "extreme" US interference in the South China Sea.

SHOWDOWN

The Chinese mainland is not afraid of any crisis in the Taiwan Strait, even a showdown, so as to quash US and Taiwan aggressiveness and safeguard national unity.

GLOBAL TIMES NEWSPAPER

China has alarmed Taiwan by ramping up military exercises this year, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island and sending its aircraft carrier through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates it from Taiwan.

Taiwan simulated repelling an invading force and used civilian-operated drones for the first time as part of annual military drills on the self-ruled island on Thursday.

China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory under its "one China" policy and Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring what it sees as a wayward province under its control.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2018, with the headline 'New crisis in Taiwan Strait likely: Paper'. Print Edition | Subscribe