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VOA: Assertive Statements by China’s Defense Minister Made China Miss Opportunity to Reshape Its Bullying Image

VOA reported that Taiwan condemned some remarks that Wei Fenghe, a top official at the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, made at the Shangri-La Dialogue. At the same time, Wei’s statements which were simply made in accordance with the CCP’s textbook, and his inflexible response to questions, resulted in China missing an opportunity for the international community to reassess Beijing’s bullying behavior.

According to the article, during his speech at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue, which the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies) had organized, General Wei Fenghe, China’s Minister of National Defense, sent the following message to the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party and the external forces: “First, no attempt to split China will succeed. Second, foreign intervention in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure. Third, any underestimation of the PLA’s resolve and will is extremely dangerous.” Wei also claimed that, “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will have no choice but to fight at all cost for national unity. … If the PLA cannot even safeguard the unity of our motherland, what do we need it for?” The Taiwan Affairs Council immediately issued a statement of solemn condemnation saying that Taiwan was never part of the China and that the CCP’s military imposes a serious threat to the Taiwan Strait and to regional peace.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Research Department at the Washington Center for Strategic Thinking and International Studies, told the Voice of America, after listening to Wei Fenghe’s speech, that disregarding (U.S. acting Secretary of Defense) Shanahan’s rather amiable speech the day before, Wei Fenghe still went ahead and delivered his bluntly prepared speeches. It made China lose an opportunity to resolve differences with the United States.

Source: Voice of America, June 2 and June 3, 2019