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US-based Chinese professor calls on China to invade Taiwan with ‘overwhelming troops, firepower’

Marines of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal J.J. Harper)
April 08, 2022

A Chinese professor who works in the U.S. called on China to invade Taiwan with “our overwhelming troops and firepower” last week during a speech in Beijing.

Professor Yi Li spoke to students at the Chaoyang District Party School in Beijing last Friday in which he praised the Russian military strategy in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and suggested it serves as a model for how China can invade and “reunify” with Taiwan, according to his remarks shared on China’s WeChat social media platform

“We need to reunify with Taiwan province as soon as possible with our overwhelming troops and firepower,” Yi said in his speech.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Yi is a full professor at Renmin University in China, but has also been living in the U.S. and working with universities in the U.S. He authored a book with University Press of America in 2005 and received his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Yi has also worked on the faculty of DePaul University in Chicago. His LinkedIn profile states he relocated to the greater New York metropolitan area, where he is looking for work in education and research.

“The practice of the Russian-Ukrainian war has proved that, as I said in December last year, the campaign to liberate Taiwan requires the rapid elimination of Taiwan’s air force, navy, missile forces, and armored forces, while simultaneously cutting off water, electricity, and mobile phones throughout Taiwan,” Yi said. “Wherever the liberation goes, electricity, water, and mobile phones can be connected to them. Where the PLA has not liberated, water, electricity, and mobile phones must not be connected, especially mobile phones.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen an explosion of social media posts showing views of the ongoing fighting. The Ukrainian side has frequently used social media to track the Russian military’s movements throughout the country. The Ukrainian government has used social media to share footage of its side’s successes against the Russian forces, as well as to document alleged Russian war crimes. Yi’s comments about cutting off phone services in a hypothetical invasion of Taiwan may reflect a realization that the Ukrainian side is effectively using social media to counter Russian war narratives and track the movements of Russian forces.

“For the past 8 years, [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has made full preparations for Russia’s military, economic, diplomatic, financial, social and other aspects for the showdown between Ukraine and the U.S. and NATO, including the localization of important parts and components that have been fully completed,” Yi said. “And China’s efforts to liberate Taiwan, What to do before the campaign starts were fully demonstrated. China just needs to follow suit.”

Yi noted China’s economy is “ten times larger than Russia’s” so invading Taiwan would be “easy and enjoyable.”

Yi said China could sell $3 trillion worth of U.S. bonds and withdraw $60 billion worth of gold to disrupt the U.S. economy before China invades Taiwan. He also described withdrawing state-owned assets in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Yi said China should also work to stockpile food and amass enough military equipment and ammunition before a potential Taiwan invasion and focus on producing “enough intercontinental missiles, hydrogen bombs, and atomic bombs.”

Yi did not respond to an American Military News request for comment at the time of this publication.

Yi’s April 1 remarks are not the first time he has drawn attention for advocating the Chinese takeover of Taiwan. In April of 2019, Yi was deported from Taiwan after authorities learned he planned to give a speech in the country, advocating reunification with China. Taipei Times reported in 2019 that Yi was allowed into Taiwan under the pretense of a sightseeing vacation, but had actually planned to advocate China reunifying with Taiwan by force.

Taiwan is a free, democratic and open country. We welcome all to visit Taiwan… However, if you come here to advocate unification through armed invasion under the pretext of sightseeing, you are no different from a terrorist,” Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said of Yi’s 2019 deportation.