China should consider taking Taiwan by force and prepare for a military invasion, the state-run Global Times newspaper wrote in an editorial published on Wednesday.
The editorial comes after President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to break decades of diplomatic protocol under the “One China” policy and speak directly with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on the phone earlier in December.
This is the first time the U.S. has made any contact with Taiwan’s government since formally establishing relations with China in 1979.
“The Chinese mainland should display its resolution to recover Taiwan by force,” the Global Times wrote.
It stated that if Taiwan were to declare formal independence, “the Chinese mainland can in no time punish them militarily.”
As leverage, the Global Times suggested pointing more missiles at Taiwan in negotiations with the island.
“If the Chinese mainland won’t pile on more pressure over realizing reunification by using force, the chance of peaceful unification will only slip away,” the editorial said. “Peace does not belong to cowards.”
China has encouraged trade with Taiwan over the past few years, but relations deteriorated in 2015 after the island elected President Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has supported formal independence from China, instead of a de facto government, The Independent reported.
“The military status quo across the Taiwan Straits needs to be reshaped as a response and punishment to the current administration of the DPP’s destruction of the political status quo in cross-Straits ties,” the editorial read.
Trump has previously stated that he would use the “One China” policy as leverage over future negotiations with Beijing.
“I fully understand the One China policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” he said in a Fox News interview.
In response, Beijing said it would never bargain with Washington on issues involving its national sovereignty.
“Basic norms of international relations should be observed, not ignored, certainly not be seen as something you can trade off,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai was quoted by Reuters as saying to U.S. company executives. “And indeed, national sovereignty and territorial integrity are not bargaining chips. Absolutely not. I hope everybody would understand that.”
Matters were further intensified after former Speaker Newt Gingrich said the U.S. would not sit back and allow China to use force to conquer Taiwan, CNBC reported.
“Time will tell after Trump’s team takes over the US, whether it will willfully utilize the one-China policy as leverage to blackmail Beijing or restrain itself in actual practice,” the editorial read. “In any case, the current farce has made China vigilant.”