China calls 2022 Taiwan Strait situation ‘serious’

Beijing, Jan 11 (EFE).- China said the situation in the Taiwan Strait during 2022 is “serious” and “complex” and added that Beijing “has taken the initiative” to “unite compatriots” on both sides of the strait, state television CCTV reported Wednesday.

The visit to the territory in August 2022 by then-United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi displeased the Chinese government, which responded with economic sanctions and military maneuvers in the waters surrounding Taiwan. These were described by Taipei as “a blockade” and brought tension in the strait to levels unseen in decades.

“We took a series of strong measures to crush all forms of provocation,” Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said Wednesday, adding that “separatist activities” and ” interference by foreign forces” endanger China’s interests.

“In the new year, the strategy to resolve the Taiwan issue will be to adhere to the principle of peaceful reunification,” Ma said, adding that “Taiwan’s strategy of relying on foreign countries to achieve independence” is “doomed to fail.” This follows a string of visits to the island by legislators and political representatives from numerous countries increased last year.

The spokesman called for “exploring new paths for the integration” of the areas located in the Taiwan Strait and “support” for the island businessmen so that they “adhere to a new development model,” adding that the majority of the Taiwanese public opinion “seeks peace, stability and development.”

On Dec. 26, Taipei denounced 71 Chinese planes flying in the vicinity of the island, in an unprecedented air deployment around Taiwan.

Beijing responded to the approval last month by the US Congress of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act, which provides for an expenditure of $ 858,000 million in defense, energy and national security that includes military aid to Taiwan.

Taipei recently announced it would extend the mandatory military service for men, which is currently four months, to one year from 2024, “in the face of the advance of Chinese authoritarianism,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said.

Taiwan has been considered a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between nationalists and communists in 1949. Beijing maintains it is a rebel province and insists that it return to what it calls a common homeland.

The island is also one of the biggest sources of conflict between China and the US, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would become its military ally in the event of a possible war with Beijing. EFE


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