China Media Says Military Ready to Deal With U.S., Taiwan 'Secessionists'

Chinese troops have been taking part in coastal military exercises to be ready for any potential conflict with U.S. or Taiwanese forces, according to state media, amid high tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the nearby South China Sea.

The Global Times newspaper—owned by the People's Daily, which is the official publication of the Chinese Communist Party—said Monday that the series of coastal drills "is seen as a direct and strong response to the recent negative moves by Taiwan secessionists and the U.S."

China considers the democratic island nation of Taiwan a wayward province and has vowed to bring its 23 million people under Beijing's control per its "One China" policy. The CCP has long said it is willing to resort to force to do so if diplomatic efforts fail.

Beijing and its media organs regularly disparage what it calls "secessionists" in Taiwan—i.e. nationalists favoring independence from the CCP. The U.S. has long backed Taiwanese independence through weapons sales and is legally bound to help defend the island against attack. The U.S. does not, however, officially recognize Taiwan.

China regularly conducts military drills around Taiwan, and often sends naval and aerial patrols close to the island. The U.S. does the same, much to Beijing's annoyance.

This month, U.S. bombers and reconnaissance aircraft have flown sorties close to Taiwan and in the South China Sea, where theNimitz-class, nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier has also been conducting operations.

Citing "Chinese mainland experts," Global Times said local U.S. military operations "should not be interpreted only as a pure strategic card aimed at provoking and pressuring the Chinese mainland, they also exposed some practical and tactical arrangements of how the U.S. plans to intervene in a possible military conflict between the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan."

Still, the nationalistic newspaper said the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army "can thwart any foreign intervention and stands ready against these challenges should they arise." Citing the analysts, it added: "With the PLA acting as a deterrent, the possibility of a U.S. military intervention remains low."

On Sunday, another Global Times article detailed "concentrated military drills" near Taiwan, designed to "deter Taiwan secessionists" and U.S. interference. The exercises will be "pressing the island of Taiwan from both the north and south ends," the newspaper said, being held in the South China Sea, the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea.

US, China, South China Sea, Taiwan, drills
An F/A-8F Super Hornet is pictured taking off from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Philippine Sea on August 19, 2020.Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy