Date
18 December 2017
President Ma Ying-jeou waves to Kuomintang colleagues after resigning as party chairman in Taipei last week. Photo: AFP
President Ma Ying-jeou waves to Kuomintang colleagues after resigning as party chairman in Taipei last week. Photo: AFP

China ex-general says force an option in Taiwan problem

An army general has warned that China is not ruling out the use of force to resolve the Taiwan problem after the island’s Beijing-friendly ruling party suffered a bruising election defeat last month.

“The Taiwan issue will not remain unresolved for a long time,” Liu Jingsong told the state-run Global Times. “We will not abandon the possibility of using force. According to the law, it is also an option to resolve the issue by military means if necessary.”

Liu is a former president of the influential Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, Agence France-Presse reported. He retired from active service with the People’s Liberation Army in 1997.

“Whoever has political power in Taiwan, the only path [for the island] is to preserve the development of peaceful relations between the two sides of the strait, and eventually to bring about reunification,” the general was quoted as saying.

China still considers Taiwan as part of its territory, awaiting reunification.

Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) was dealt a crushing blow in local polls in late November when it lost five out of six large municipalities on the island, prompting Premier Jiang Yi-huah to resign and President Ma Ying-jeou to step down as KMT chairman.

The KMT’s move to forge warmer ties with Beijing, along with its perceived secrecy in forging deals with the mainland, was one of the core issues at stake in last month’s polls, which were seen as a prelude to the 2016 presidential race, AFP said.

In face of the recent shakeup in Taiwan’s political landscape, China “should not fear the storm” and has formed “new judgements and countermeasures”, Liu said, according to the Global Times.

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RA/CG

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