China’s state media is weaponizing the United States’ exit from Afghanistan to threaten war against the island nation of Taiwan. An editorial by the state-run Global Times attempts to exploit the withdrawal by arguing that not if, but “once” China invades Taiwan, the United States will not come to the island’s defense due to the financial costs a potential war could impose.
“Once a cross-Straits war breaks out while the mainland seizes the island with forces, the US would have to have a much greater determination than it had for Afghanistan, Syria, and Vietnam if it wants to interfere,” the editorial board wrote. “A military intervention of the US will be a move to change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and this will make Washington pay a huge price rather than earn profit.”
#环球时报Editorial: From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP will quickly surrender. https://t.co/ZUrZmcsSWf pic.twitter.com/wFG4vrHbTo
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 16, 2021
The editorial board later went on to issue a stark warning to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and “secessionist forces” on the island, saying they need to “keep a sober head” and “should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams” that the U.S. would intervene to stop a Chinese invasion.
“From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help,” they wrote. “As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.”
“The best choice for the DPP authorities is to avoid pushing the situation to that position. They need to change their course of bonding themselves to the anti-Chinese mainland chariot of the US. They should keep cross-Straits peace with political means, rather than acting as strategic pawns of the US and bear the bitter fruits of a war,” the board added.
The warning from China comes amid a ramp-up of military activity by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which carried out military exercises in the air and sea near Taiwan on Tuesday. According to a PLA representative, the move was in response to “external interference” and “provocations” by the United States and Taiwan’s independence forces.
“This exercise is a necessary action based on the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and the need to safeguard national sovereignty,” the official said. “It is a solemn response to external interference and provocations by Taiwan independence forces.”