China has issued its latest threat towards Taiwan by warning it is ready to use ‘all necessary means’ to retake the island.
Beijing’s new ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, refused to rule out using 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 on the sixth day 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 was asked to quell ‘concerns’ from Australians about the ‘prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan’ and what would ‘justify a use of force across the strait’.
In response, the ambassador said: ‘Taiwan is not an independent state. Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.
‘It’s an issue of complete reunification, and the issue of Taiwan coming back to the motherland.’
China ‘s ambassador Xiao Qian (pictured) said, when necessary they are ready to ‘use all necessary means’ to reunify Taiwan to its motherland
Mr Xiao said China had been ‘so patient’ waiting to be reunified with Taiwan and urged those at the National Press Club to use their ‘imagination’ as to what the global superpower could do.
‘That is one of the reasons why China has been so patient for several decades. We’re waiting. We’re waiting for a peaceful unification. But we cannot – we can never rule out the option to use other means … when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means,’ he said.
‘As to what ‘all necessary means?’ You can use your imagination.’
Mr Xiao was then asked to give a ‘yes or no’ answer on if China had plans to ‘re-educate’ Taiwan’s 23 million people.
‘Can you confirm with a yes or no – is that Chinese Government policy? Will China re-educate Taiwan’s people to change their minds about the Chinese Communist Party,’ a journalist asked.
‘It is reasonable for us to understand that their perspective about China, their perspective about their motherland, might take somewhat different views,’ he replied.
‘I think my personal understanding is that once Taiwan is reunited, coming back to the motherland, there might be a process for the people in Taiwan to have a correct understanding of China about the motherland.’
China has attracted global criticism for its re-education camps in the province of Xinjiang.
The camps, first set up in 2017, have been used to indoctrinate Uyghurs and Muslims and horror stories of abuse and human rights’ violations have emerged from them.
Mr Xiao said despite that, ‘the last thing’ China wanted to do was use force.
(Pictured) Uyghur detainees in a camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, in April 2017
Earlier in his press club address, Mr Xiao said while China supported improvements to the ‘current international order it would never seek to start a new one’.
‘In the past more than 40 years of reforming and opening up to the outside world, tremendous changes have happened in China,’ he said.
‘China’s comprehensive national stance has been significantly enhanced but China’s diplomatic philosophy and China’s foreign policy remains unchanged.
‘China supports necessary reform and improvement to the current international order and system, but China never seeks to start a new one.’
Earlier this month China declared it would conduct a massive set of war games around Taiwan beginning on August 2 and lasting until August 8.
The military drills blockaded the island from the outside world and intruded into its territorial waters, and involved ground, air and sea forces carrying out live fire exercises in what was the largest threat to Taiwan’s independence in decades.
The increased aggression from Beijing was sparked by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the third most senior politician in America – provocatively visiting the island on August 3.
Nancy Pelosi (left) meets with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (right) in Taipei on August 3, in a move that provoked fury in Beijing
Chinese anti-aircraft batteries take part in military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan
Mr Xiao called the drills a ‘legitimate and justified’ response to Ms Pelosi’s visit for violating China’s territorial integrity.
‘This is a reaction to the provocations from the US side, from the separatist movements in Taiwan Island, and the reaction is legitimate,’ he said.
He also said China continues to seek a stable and cooperative relationship with Australia.
‘No matter how China develops itself now or in the future, China will never seek hegemony or sphere of influence. The development of China-Australia relations is at a critical juncture,’ the Chinese ambassador said.
‘China’s policy of friendship and cooperation to Australia remains unchanged. And objective and rational objective of Australia on China and a positive and pragmatic policy towards China are fundamentally significant for a long-term stable and predictable partnership between China and Australia.’
A Chinese Xian H-6 bomber is pictured in the skies over the Taiwan Strait, amid huge military drills that will effectively blockade the island
Xiao Qian speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday about the reunification of Taiwan with China: ‘When necessary, when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means. As to what? You can use your imagination’
Mr Xiao did however, says it was unlikely the Chinese president would meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bali later this year.
‘If you are talking bad about me, why should I meet you? You humiliated me publicly, why should I meet you to be humiliated again face-to-face?,’ he said.
‘Once we have a high-level meeting, we hope it is going to be helpful in developing a more positive relationship instead of making it worse.’