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US sending warship through Taiwan Straits may provoke Chinese mainland response

(Global Times)    08:00, June 06, 2018

Carrier in Straits may provoke Chinese mainland response

The US sending a warship through the Taiwan Straits will do nothing to improve Taiwan's declining situation and may provoke more actions from Beijing, said Chinese mainland observers.

The US should prudently handle the Taiwan question so as to avoid harming bilateral ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits region, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday.

"The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive core issue in the China-US relations," Hua said.

Her remarks came after Reuters reported that the US was considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Straits.

The US already examined plans for passage of an aircraft carrier but did not pursue them, presumably out of concern about upsetting China, Reuters quoted a US official as saying.

The last time a US aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Straits was in 2007.

"The US feels the urge to give Taiwan a hand right now, when the region is facing mounting pressure from Beijing and more countries are cutting their 'diplomatic relations with Taiwan,'" Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Center for American Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Burkina Faso on May 24 declared it would break off "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan, the second country to do so within a month.

But the US action will do little to help Taiwan, as the island is just a card for them to intimidate China, Wu said, warning that it may invite responses from Beijing.

"The Taiwan question is the bottom line that cannot be touched or challenged," said Lieutenant-General He Lei, deputy head of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue, in response to remarks by US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

He stressed "the PLA has the determination, confidence and capability to safeguard China's sovereignty, unity and developmental interests."

The defense ministry warned in November that it would hold frequent military exercises in the area including flying aircraft around the island and sending its carrier through the Straits.

Taiwan's pro-independence power has no choice but to seek help from the US, Japan or even India, Wu Yaming, a Beijing-based expert on cross-Straits relations, told the Global Times.

He noted the US and China should end the growing antagonism over the Taiwan question as Taiwan will be reunified sooner or later and it's not for the US to decide. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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