China: Expert discusses fourth Taiwan air defence zone intrusion
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Tobias Ellwood was speaking after the Chinese President addressed an event marking the CCP’s 100th anniversary – causing a stir with the strength of his language. Mr Ellwood, the Tory MP for Bournemouth, told Express.co.uk he, like many others, was following events in Beijing with rising levels of concern.
“I think partly in reaction to the global response to China initially hiding the pandemic and the condemnation of the new security laws in Hong Kong and also the outrage expressed over the treatment of the Uighurs.
“China is clearly seeking to become so large that nobody will dare challenge it.
“This is its direction and travel as it reinterprets our international rules for its own benefit.”
“He has now consolidated his power over Hong Kong – this ‘one country two systems’ thing is completely out the window.
“He’s now got his sights set on Taiwan. It could be the next 10 years, or the next five years, but things are going to get very unpredictable.
“We now have Japan joining America to say we will defend Taiwan.”
Asked whether Mr Jinping’s comments were a precursor to turning the screw on the autonomous island 100 miles off mainland China, Mr Ellwood said: “There’s no doubt that he’s ratcheting up the pressure on Taiwan.
“His military footprint is encroaching on Taiwan’s maritime space. This is all a slow erosion of Taiwan’s freedoms.”
As for the possibility of China opting to launch a full-scale invasion, he said: “It’s so difficult to predict, we simply don’t know.
ionship with China a key part of his foreign policy and said it is “inutile” to try to challenge its vastly bigger neighbour.
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“Xi’s navy is now the largest in the world, growing by the size of ours every year.
“He’s wanting to become so big that nobody, no country, including the USA, would dare challenge him.
“The West needs to unite. Only by standing together can the international community defend democracy, particularly in democratic countries such as Taiwan.”
Speaking last month, Xi declared: “We will never allow anyone to bully, oppress or subjugate China.
“Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of Steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
He added: “No one should underestimate the resolve, the will and ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Furthermore, he reaffirmed what he called China’s “unbreakable commitment” to unifying with Taiwan, while vowing to “fulfil the Chinese Dream of great national rejuvenation”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk after Mr Jinping’s speech, Prof Steve Tsang, the director of the China Institute at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), said it included “unnecessarily harsh language which will backfire in the outside world”.
He said of Xi’s words: “They confirm the approach Xi takes towards the rest of the world, which is that they are required to respect China on China’s terms, and if they don’t, they should be prepared to face the consequences, some could be rather unpleasant.”
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