Earlier this year, it came out that the US has sent a small number of Marines and Special Operations troopers to the Republic of China (Taiwan), where they are advising and training Taiwanese forces and have been doing so for over a year.
China, which has been threatening Taiwan by sending flight after flight of fighter jets and even nuclear-capable bombers toward the island, was predictably upset.
Now, however, it’s gone beyond being upset, and Chinese state media is declaring that the PLA will attack those US troops and others when it attacks Taiwan.
That threat came from an op-ed in the Global Times, a Chinese regime outlet, which said:
So far, the official attitude of Washington is to encourage the Taiwan authority to build up self-defense capabilities. The US mainly provides military support to Taiwan by selling weapons. Those weapons are generally destined to be destroyed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as soon as the reunification by force takes place. It is credible that the PLA will heavily attack US troops who come to Taiwan’s rescue. Such credibility is increasingly overwhelming the deterrence that US troops may have.
To be clear, that means the Red Chinese aren’t just threatening the small contingent of US troops currently in Taiwan in an advisory role. It’s threatening to attack any US troops that are sent to assist the Republic of China.
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The bellicose article went on the express displeasure as US Freedom on Navigation operations and tried to place the blame on the US for heightened tensions in the region, saying that our continued support of Taiwan will lead to reunification by force:
If Washington supports the Taiwan authority’s path of seeking secession and encourages the Taiwan authority to rely on it, then reunification by force will definitely happen. The more the US and the island of Taiwan collude, the sooner reunification by force will come.
The Chinese mainland has the will to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has rejected the one-China principle after it took office in 2016, which severely undermined the political foundation of cross-Straits relations and pushed the situation in the Taiwan Straits toward serious instability. Currently, people are talking about military confrontations in the Taiwan Straits very frequently, something that was unimaginable a few years ago. The key elements and mechanisms have all changed. Perhaps the critical point of turning back has already passed.
To avoid a showdown in the Taiwan Straits, the DPP authority must retreat in big steps and the US should urge it to return to the right track when it gets lost. If the US continues to regard the Taiwan island as a pawn to contain the Chinese mainland and send wrong signals to the DPP authority, then the situation will keep on worsening. Resolving the Taiwan question by force will become the inevitable and only choice for the Chinese mainland.
As American Military News reports, while China is typically full of bravado and bluster, it’s rare for the nation to directly threaten US troops:
China has made more vague threats of action toward the U.S. but it is rare to issue such a bold and direct threat against U.S. troops, specifically.
But the op-ed wasn’t the only threat. In September, again according to AMN, a Chinese military official said the US and Chinese forces would “meet in the sky,” implying some sort of aerial conflict, perhaps over Taiwan:
During a major Chinese military airshow in September, a senior Chinese military leader issued a veiled challenge that if the U.S is not scared of China’s advanced weapons “let us meet in the sky.”
While the Chinese are rattling the saber, Biden is acting weakly, with his weak-kneed “diplomatic boycott” of the 2022 Winter Olympics being the most egregious example of his spineless foreign policy. If only the US were as strong in the face of pressure as the Chinese. Will his administration let these direct threats to US forces go unanswered?