What Will It Take to Push China Into War Mode?

A now deleted but very controversial tweet from senior Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx) and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as shown here:

 

….and here:

…has led to a very terse response from China, one of two nations that Washington regards as key threats to its position at the top of the world's unipolar world.

Here is the tweet in question:

Some believe that the tweet was erroneously composed however, if its message was to send a bow-shot over Mainland China, Cornyn can consider himself very successful.

As happens quite frequently, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party responded using their state media outlet, the Global Times as shown here:

Here are some excerpts with all bolds throughout being mine:

"A senior US senator, also a member of US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on his social media revealed that the US has 30,000 soldiers stationed in China's Taiwan island. If the tweet is correct, it is a military invasion and occupation of China's Taiwan and equivalent to the US declaring war on China. China could immediately activate its Anti-Secession Law to destroy and expel US troops in Taiwan and reunify Taiwan militarily, some experts noted. 

Some others believe the news leaked by the US senator cannot be true because 30,000 is not some small amount that the US Army could hide and not being noticed in the island, and the US has nothing to gain by stationing the US Army in the island. Sacrificing its own interests to satisfy Taiwan separatists also does not fit with US foreign policy, just like the US did in Afghanistan." 

The Global Times goes on to note that neither the Senator nor Washington commented on the tweet but they did offer this comment on why Cornyn tweeted this information:

"Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that such ridiculous and shocking news is more likely the result from the old age of the senator that makes him a dotard or his confusion about the data with previous data in the 1970s or 1960s. But we have to acknowledge that there are also some US senators fabricating data to boost their political careers."

Even though a Chinese military expert, Song Zhongping, believes that the 30,000 troop number is not factual, he acknowledged this:

"I would choose not to believe this is the real case," Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday. He said the US cannot conceal 30,000 soldiers plus their equipment in the island. US would not dare or take such risk to do so. But we cannot rule out the possibility that the US would dispatch such amount of troops when a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Straits."

The piece goes on to state the following observation from Li Hailing, a professor at the Institue of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University:

"Whether it is a mistake or hype, we could see the US politician has a lack of political sensitivity and is irresponsible in making public remarks, which is jaw-dropping...

If the US and China went to a war because US brazenly stationed troops in the island of Taiwan, whether 30,000 or 1,000, the price cannot be paid off for the US and the US clearly understands it. It is impossible for the US to be silly enough to sacrifice itself to satisfy Taiwan separatists."

Let's close with the final threats from China's leadership:

"If the US really secretly stations 30,000 soldiers in China's Taiwan island, the US as an external force is interfering with China's internal affairs which violates China's Anti-Secession Law. This would touch off a military conflict between the two countries

China firmly opposes any US military personnel involvement in Taiwan affairs, or US soldiers setting foot on the island or launching any kind of military cooperation with the army of Taiwan island…  

Some observers said if this is true, it's tantamount to a military invasion and occupation of China's Taiwan, and an act of declaring war on China. If the US really has troops stationed in Taiwan – even if the number is small – it would be a serious matter that has broken the bottom line. 

Those US troops must withdraw immediately and unconditionally, and the US government and Taiwan authorities must publicly apologize for this."

As background, the last American troops officially departed from Taiwan on May 3, 1979 and, according to the latest data from the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are 2 Navy personnel, 23 Marines and 5 Air Force personnel for a total of 30 U.S. military personnel assigned to Taiwan as of June 30, 2021.

https://dwp.dmdc.osd.mil/dwp/app/dod-data-reports/workforce-reports

Let's close with this final tweet from Hu Xijin, the Editor-in-Chief of the Global Times which pretty much summarizes China's feelings on the possibility that Taiwan has U.S. military personnel:

While the tweet itself is rather immaterial, it is important to observe China's terse response to what it views as an outside threat to its existence from the United States and answer the question "What will it take to push China into war mode".  With the current and growing diplomatic strain between Washington and Beijing increasing as the unipolar world begins to collapse, Washington will have to tread carefully if it doesn't want all-out war in the southwest Pacific.  The response of China's leadership shows easily and quickly the situation over Taiwan could lead to a major military conflict.  Let's hope that Washington uses this as a lesson-learned when it comes to interfering between China and Taiwan.

And, in closing, thanks to a friend, here is one final question:

How would Washington respond if they thought that 30,000 Chinese troops were present in Cuba?

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