The comments came during an address to the National Press Club on Aug. 10, when Australian journalists pressed the Chinese regime’s representative about the current tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
When asked about the potential for China to invade Taiwan, Xiao told reporters that although the use of force was the last thing that Beijing wanted, but it could “never rule out the option to use other means.”
“So when necessary, when compelled, we are ready to use all necessary means. As to what ‘by all necessary’ means, you can use your human imagination.”
Taiwanese Would Undergo ‘Re-Education’
Additionally, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ambassador also said it was his personal understanding that if an invasion were successful, its citizens would undergo “re-education.”
He said that there “might be a process for the people in Taiwan to have a correct understanding of China.”
The comments from the ambassador echo those made on Aug. 7 by the Chinese ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, who told French media outlet LCI that if Beijing were to take over Taiwan its 23 million residents would undergo re-education—echoing the situation faced by Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Beijing Tries to Justify Aggression in Taiwan Strait
Xiao also declared that Taiwan was not an independent state, saying the matter was a domestic issue. He made the comments in reference to the 1943 Cairo Declaration.
The Cairo Declaration was an agreement made between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Cairo, Egypt, during the Pacific campaign in World War II. It recognised China as an ally and agreed that territories taken from China by Japan, including Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Pescadores, would be returned to the control of the Republic of China after the conflict ended.
Xiao’s comments come as the Chinese regime launched live-fire military drills in the seas surrounding Taiwan on Aug. 4 in apparent retaliation to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to the democratic island.
Beijing also declared six exclusion zones encircling the island for the war games. Warplanes and vessels have crossed the median line of the Strait.
In response, Taiwan’s defence ministry called the military drills “highly provocative,” and deployed aircraft, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems to monitor the situation.
“We seek no escalation, nor do antagonise others,” Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Twitter, adding that its armed forces were committed to defending the self-governing island.
According to Reuters, the military drills are the biggest ever held by the CCP’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with 11 ballistic missiles launched so far.
Five of the missiles were said to have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from the country’s coast.
The PLA also deployed 22 Chinese fighter jets, which crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Unmanned aerial drones were also launched and flew over the Kinmen Islands—1.3 miles from the Chinese coastline—forcing Taiwanese troops to fire warning flares to drive away at least four aircraft.
Three drones flew over waters near Taiwan’s east coast, according to an announcement (pdf) from Japan’s defence ministry.