Remarks on website of hawkish Global Times seen to increase pressure on Taiwan
A retired PLA general has called on mainland forces to begin practising to retake Taiwan, comments Taiwanese analysts said were meant to put more pressure on the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen.
Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of the Nanjing military area command, said the People’s Liberation Army Navy should step up naval training to seal off the Taiwan Strait, and map out the best routes for its submarines to prepare for attacks.
In an online comment published by the hawkish Beijing-based Global Times website on Friday, Wang suggested the PLA Air Force should also conduct air attack drills near the virtual mid-line that divides the strait.
“In the event of cross-strait tensions, PLA warplanes could immediately fly into Taiwanese airspace and start their attacks,” he said.
Wang called on the PLA to stage live-fire drills on an uninhabited island near Pingtan – just opposite Taiwan’s outlying island of Quemoy. “During wartime, all the PLA would need to do is to turn its weapons towards Taiwan and the shelling could cover as far as Hsinchu, Taoyuan and even Taipei in Taiwan,” he said.
Wang said the PLA must step up its tactical and combat readiness to attack now that Tsai had “revealed her staunch advocacy of Taiwanese independence”.
Citing Tsai’s refusal to accept the “1992 consensus” and its “one China” principle, and her recent call to “resist China’s pressure”, as well as her nomination of pro-independence candidates to serve as the head of the judiciary and on the Council of Grand Justices, Wang said Tsai had rejected the mainland’s goodwill and was determined to support independence for the island.
Full article: Retired PLA general calls on mainland China forces to practise retaking of Taiwan (South China Morning Post)