China has issued its latest threat towards Taiwan by warning it is ready to use ‘all necessary means’ to seize the disputed island.
Beijing’s new ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, refused to rule out the use of force after a visit last week by high-ranking US politician Nancy Pelosi fuelled further tensions, sparking China’s biggest ever live fire exercises around the territory.
The envoy said after six days of the military drills: ‘We can never rule out the option to use other means. So when necessary, when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means.
‘As to what does it mean by “necessary means?” You can use your imagination.’
Mr Xiao claimed that China has been ‘so patient’ while ‘waiting for a peaceful reunification’ despite the Communist superpower’s constant sabre-rattling and displays of military strength around the territory.
He added that ‘the majority of the people in Taiwan believe they’re Chinese’ and deserve a say in their future, despite its population being overwhelmingly against unification.
Separately today, a strong statement issued by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office also refused to rule out the use of force, adding: ‘Never before have we been so close to, confident in, and capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation.’
Since Thursday, China has been sending ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between the coasts and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the island, and navy ships were active this morning.