Russian President Vladimir Putin said that China “does not need to use force” to achieve the goal of reunifying Taiwan. His statement has attracted a lot of attention and different interpretations.
Putin made these remarks during a conversation with the host of the National Broadcasting Corporation Business Channel (CNBC) Hadley Gamble at the Russian Energy Week conference in Moscow this week.
What did Putin say?
Putin said in the CNBC interview that Xi Jinping’s (recent) speech mentioned the possibility of peaceful reunification, as well as China‘s “national philosophy”, “I don’t see military threats.”
When attending the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that China will adhere to the basic policy of “peaceful reunification, one country, two systems” and the “one China principle and the 1992 consensus” to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and realize the history of the reunification of the motherland. Task.
Putin also said, “I don’t think China needs to use force. China is a very powerful economy. In terms of purchasing power parity, China‘s economy has now surpassed the United States to become the world‘s number one.”
“By increasing this economic potential, China is capable of achieving its national goals. I see no threat.”
The situation in the Taiwan Strait continues to be tense
Putin’s remarks aroused concern because of the recent continued tension in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense announced that since China’s 11th National Day, PLA fighters have entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone for days in a row, with unprecedented numbers and frequencies.
Beijing’s actions have aroused heated discussion in Taiwan and also aroused the attention of the international community.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen also made a strong response in his “Double Ten” speech, stating that “maintaining the status quo is our proposition, but we will continue to enrich our national defense, show our determination to defend ourselves, and ensure that no one can force Taiwan to move toward a Chinese establishment. Taiwan will not succumb under pressure.”
China regards Taiwan as a separate province and will eventually become part of the country again; while Taiwan regards itself as a sovereign country, many Taiwanese believe that they are in fact a country, regardless of whether they formally declare independence or not.
Russia’s One China Proposition
As the People’s Liberation Army’s military aircraft company emerged in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, the international community has also paid more and more attention to the situation in this area.
Russia has rarely discussed the development of the situation in the Taiwan Strait in the past, and this time Putin rarely made comments on the situation in Taiwan.
Russia has always advocated the “One China” policy. A few days before Putin’s latest speech, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also stated, “Russia, like most countries in the world, believes that Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China. We will use this as a starting point in our policy.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also echoed the Russian Foreign Minister’s remarks, saying, “China highly appreciates Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks on Taiwan-related matters” and China will continue to “work with Russia to adhere to the’four mutual firm support’ consensus, and China firmly supports Russia. The side’s efforts to safeguard sovereignty and regime security and oppose external interference.”
Respective interpretations of Putin’s talk
Putin’s latest speech has attracted a lot of attention, and it has also led to different interpretations.
Wang Kunyi, chairman of the Taiwan Institute of International Strategy, wrote in Taiwan’s “China Times” that Putin’s remarks are to “decompress Taiwan.” Putin said that China “does not need to use force” and can achieve the goal of reunification by relying on economic strength. He believes Putin’s statement will be welcomed by the people of Taiwan.
Wang Kunyi has long published articles in the “China Times”, which is referred to as the “red media”. He also publicly advocated that the two sides of the strait should develop toward “cooperative unity” and oppose the DPP’s cross-strait policy.
Taiwan’s online media “Wind Media” article believes that Putin and Xi Jinping “sing double reeds”, stating that China can unify Taiwan without using force and cannot see China’s military threats. The article said Putin’s remarks show that he “supports China’s reunification of Taiwan.” .
Some people have interpreted Putin’s so-called “no need to use force” as saying that this is Putin’s clear statement that he opposes China‘s use of force to unify Taiwan.
Another interpretation is that the relations between China and Russia, the United States, and Europe have deteriorated recently. Beijing and Moscow hope to improve their relations. Putin said that “China can achieve its national goals as long as it strengthens its economic strength.” the sound of.
At the same time, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Qiu Guo said in the Legislative Yuan that the Taiwan military will never start a war, but it is preparing for war every day. He also said that the Taiwan military is “not plastic” and that the military will fight if the other side moves. .