The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reaffirmed Taiwan’s sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea and called on all claimants to peacefully resolve the impasse.
The comments came after an editorial published in the Chinese-language edition of the Chinese Communist Party-run Global Times called on the Beijing government to declare war on Vietnam and the Philippines, two countries that have been proactive in defending their claims over the islets.
The op-ed, titled “A good time to take military action in the South China Sea,” was penned by Long Tao (龍韜), a strategic analyst at the non-governmental China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC, 中华能源基金委员会) and also at Zhejiang University’s Non-Traditional Security and Peace Development Research Center.
“Do not worry about small-scale wars; it is the best way to release the potential of war. Play a few small battles and big battles can be avoided,” Long wrote, adding that military action should be focused on striking the Philippines and Vietnam, “the two noisiest troublemakers,” to achieve the effect of killing one chicken to scare the monkeys.
Through military action, he wrote, China could transform the South China Sea into “a sea of fire,” an act made possible by the fact that “of the more than 1,000 oil rigs and four airfields on the Spratly Islands, none belongs to China.”
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.
Interesting facts about the Hong Kong-based CEFC, which also has centers in Shanghai and Beijing. According to its Web site, one of its roles is “pushing forward the notion of world peace” and “achieving international harmony and world peace,” which obviously resonates with calls to create a “sea of flames” in the South China Sea. It gets better. Aside from including former PLA officers, the consultants include James C. Hsiung, a former “instructor” to President Ma Ying-jeou at New York University, and Eric A. McVadon, retired rear admiral in the US Navy.