China to press Taiwan toward unification: U.S. report

04/14/2021 12:02 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Washington, April 13 (CNA) The American intelligence community warned in a national security report Tuesday that China has emerged as the United States' main competitor and will push Taiwan on the issue of unification.

"We expect that friction (across the Taiwan Strait) will grow as Beijing steps up attempts to portray Taipei as internationally isolated and dependent on the mainland for economic prosperity, and as China continues to increase military activity around the island," said the report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"Beijing will press Taiwan authorities to move toward unification and will condemn what it views as increased U.S.-Taiwan engagement," the report said.

The annual report of worldwide threats to the national security of the United States listed China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as posing the main national security challenges in the coming year.

"China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas -- especially economically, militarily, and technologically -- and is pushing to change global norms," the report said.

In terms of its regional and global activities, China is using coordinated tools to demonstrate its growing strength and compel regional neighbors to acquiesce to Beijing's preferences, including its claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, the report said.

In the South China Sea, "Beijing will continue to intimidate rival claimants and will use growing numbers of air, naval, and maritime law enforcement platforms to signal to Southeast Asian countries that China has effective control over contested areas," the report said.

At the same time, China will continue expanding its global intelligence footprint to better support its interests around the world and challenge the United States' alliances and partnerships, according to the report.

Across East Asia and the western Pacific, for example, China is attempting to exploit doubts about the U.S. commitment to the region, undermine Taiwan's democracy, and extend Beijing's influence, it said.

(By Jiang Chin-yeh and Evelyn Kao)

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