WASHINGTON -- The recent conduct of air and maritime exercises by Chinese armed forces in the area around Taiwan is an example of by China showcasing its growing military strength and not a show of force directed at the government of Taiwan, according to former U.S. Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Douglas Paal.
As long as China's military capabilities continue to grow, we expect to see Beijing expand its maritime activities in the days ahead, Paal told CNA.
Asked to comment on recent saber-rattling by Beijing and demands that U.S. president-elect Donald Trump abide by the "One China" policy, Paal said because Trump has yet to assume office, all China can do is to issue stern statements to express its displeasure.
However, with regard Beijing's recent threat to "take revenge" if Donald Trump moves away from the One-China policy, the former AIT director indicated that the warning is real.
The threat came in the wake of a visit by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to four of Taiwan's Central American allies in an effort to consolidate bilateral ties. Prior to Tsai's departure, it was rumored that she could possibly meet Trump during a stopover in the United States.
Following the severing of diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe on Dec. 20, Paal was asked if he expected Beijing to continue its efforts to poach Taiwan's diplomatic allies, to which he said the incident with the tiny West African nation was probably driven by interests other than China's desire to punish Taiwan.