Taipei, May 12 (CNA) In a message the government-controlled Chinese media has played down, a top Beijing official has warned Taiwan that the United States will not be able to preserve Taiwan's security and that time is on China's side in cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
In a brash speech on Friday at the fourth annual gathering of media organizations from China and Taiwan, Wang Yang (汪洋), chairman of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, boasted of China's might.
While China is planning 100 years into the future, Wang said, Taiwanese authorities cannot even guarantee what will happen two years from now.
"Therefore, we are confident in saying that both time and momentum are on our side, the side of mainland China," he said.
He chastised advocates of Taiwan independence for "placing their bets on the Americans," and wondered if the United States, after passing the Taiwan Assurance Act, could really assure Taiwan's security.
"[The Americans] are just using Taiwan as a pawn. Will they go to war with China for Taiwan? I'm guessing they won't. If we really go to war, will the Americans win? I'm guessing not," Wang said.
"More than 70 years ago, the foreign guns and cannons didn't defeat Communists' rifles when the Americans were supporting the Nationalist government, and the Americans didn't win the Korean war either."
"They didn't defeat us even during the time when we were very poor, so what will happen when they face China today? Will they have the courage to fight us?" Wang said, arguing that there is no path for Taiwan independence and that the Americans cannot be counted by Taiwan to achieve independence.
The comments were made at the closed-door gathering organized by the Taiwan-based Want Want Media Group, long considered to have close ties with the Chinese regime, and China's Beijing Daily Group, and attended by representatives of several Taiwanese media organizations.
Wang's remarks were not meant for public consumption, but Taiwanese media that did not attend the meeting were able to obtain Wang's statement in full.
While the Chinese-language service of China's official Xinhua News Agency did report most of Wang's comments related to media relations across the Taiwan Strait, including his exhortation to those present to advance the process of "peaceful reunification," it only touched on his comments about the United States.
Chinese media has been relatively quiet about the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing, and Xinhua may have purposely sidestepped Wang's references to the U.S. in the speech at a time when trade negotiations may be at their most sensitive.
Its only reference to the U.S. in its coverage was to cite Wang as saying it would not be wise to put a bet on Taiwan independence in the hands of foreign powers.
Taiwan's government criticized Wang's remarks and the conference as another example of China trying to encroach on Taiwan's media freedoms.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday blasted Wang's remarks for putting pressure on Taiwanese media organizations.
Tsai described Wang's comments and China's actions as obstruction of Taiwan's democracy, domestic freedom of the press and interference in Taiwan's internal affairs.