Beijing condemns Taiwan’s arms acquisition, warns of heightened conflict risk

Zhang Xiaogang

29th February 2024 – (Beijing) A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense has issued a stern warning to Taiwan’s governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), criticising their ongoing arms procurement from the United States.

Zhang Xiaogang, the defence spokesperson, on Thursday, articulated Beijing’s strong opposition to the DPP’s actions, stating that their pursuit of armaments could dangerously escalate the situation to the brink of war. These remarks were delivered in response to inquiries regarding Taiwan’s intentions to acquire missile systems from the U.S.

Zhang condemned the DPP’s expenditure on U.S. weapons as a futile attempt to alter the intrinsic status of Taiwan, which is viewed by Beijing as an inseparable part of China. Zhang stressed that such actions by the Taiwanese authorities would not deter the broader march toward national reunification.

The spokesperson amplified Beijing’s stance that the proposed arms sale by the United States to Taiwan constitutes a serious breach of the one-China principle, a cornerstone of the relationship between the two nations underpinned by the three joint communiqués, specifically pointing to violations of the August 17 Communique. According to Zhang, the arms deal not only encroaches upon China’s sovereign rights and security interests but also jeopardises the peace and stability in the region.

The rhetoric from Beijing underscores the Chinese government’s resolve to thwart any attempts at “Taiwan independence,” with Zhang asserting that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is prepared to take all necessary steps to decisively counter any separatist endeavours. The PLA’s commitment to preserving China’s territorial integrity and ensuring the continuation of tranquillity across the Taiwan Strait was made unequivocally clear.