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Chinese state media threatens to ‘heavily attack’ US troops defending Taiwan

People's Liberation Army soldiers at Shenyang training base in China, March 24, 2007. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force)
December 10, 2021

Chinese state media threatened on Thursday that China will attack U.S. troops who attempt to defend Taiwan if China starts war with the island nation. The U.S. has said that China is readying for an attack on Taiwan.

China’s Global Times wrote, “It is credible that the PLA will heavily attack US troops who come to Taiwan’s rescue. Such credibility is increasingly overwhelming the deterrence that US troops may have.”

China conducts near-daily warplane flights around Taiwan, who governs itself as an independent nation, but which China claims as its own territory. China also conducted live bombing drills on islands in the South China Sea last week as another measure to intimidate and pressure Taiwan. The U.S. has continued its freedom of navigation flights and warship transits in the region to ensure free passage for all nations in the disputed territory.

“If Washington supports the Taiwan authority’s path of seeking secession and encourages the Taiwan authority to rely on it, then reunification by force will definitely happen. The more the U.S. and the island of Taiwan collude, the sooner reunification by force will come,” the Global Times added.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. is prepared to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion and takeover, saying the Biden administration hopes that scenario “never happens.”

China has made more vague threats of action toward the U.S. but it is rare to issue such a bold and direct threat against U.S. troops, specifically.

On Tuesday, a top China official threatened to make the U.S. “pay” for President Joe Biden’s diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian issued the threatening response during a press conference on Tuesday: “The US will pay a price for its erroneous actions. You may wait and see.”

Zhao accused the Biden administration of “fabricating the biggest lie of the century” about what he characterized as the “so-called ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang,” which he said has been “debunked.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced the U.S. diplomatic boycott on Monday, saying the decision was due to China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, and other human rights abuses.”

Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week that there’s no known timeline for China’s attack on Taiwan, but called China’s military threats to Taiwan “real and dangerous” and did not anticipate it ending.

“The China challenge is a today problem, a tomorrow problem, a 2027 problem, a 2030 problem, a 2040 problem and beyond. I don’t think there is a date we ought to pick on the calendar,” he added.

During a major Chinese military airshow in September, a senior Chinese military leader issued a veiled challenge that if the U.S is not scared of China’s advanced weapons “let us meet in the sky.”