‘Prepare for military action’

BEIJING – A widely read Chinese state-run newspaper said on Thursday China should prepare for military action over self-ruled Taiwan, and pressure Washington over co-operation on North Korea, after the United States passed a law to boost ties with Taiwan.

Beijing was infuriated after US President Donald Trump signed legislation last week that encourages the United States to send senior officials to Taiwan to meet Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong said in Taipei on Wednesday the United States’ commitment to Taiwan has never been stronger and the island is an inspiration to the rest of the Indo-Pacific region.

China claims Taiwan as its own and considers the self-ruled island a wayward province, which Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday would face the “punishment of history” for any attempt at separatism.

The Global Times said in an editorial China had to “strike back” against the law.

“China can pressure the US in other areas of bilateral co-operation: for example, the Korean Peninsula issue and Iran nuclear issue. China can also set itself against the US in international organisations such as the UN,” it said.

“The mainland must also prepare itself for a direct military clash in the Taiwan Straits. It needs to make clear that escalation of US-Taiwan official exchanges will bring serious consequences to Taiwan,” said the paper, which is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.