PEKING – China warned Wednesday that it would not tolerate the demonstrators' efforts to threaten the authority of the Hong Kong central government and suggested that it mobilize troops in the People's Liberation Army garrison there if necessary to maintain order.
] The warning came when the government released a new defense strategy that accused the United States of undermining global stability and identified separatism as China's most immediate security threat.
In the case of Hong Kong, the main speaker of the Ministry of National Defense Lt. Col. Wu Qian quoted the protests on Sunday in front of the Hong Kong Central Government Liaison Office, painted by demonstrators with graffiti, suggesting that violence punished Beijing's patience.
He explicitly cited a specific article in the Basic Law describing relations between the city and Beijing that would allow the People's Liberation Army to intervene to maintain order or assist in natural disasters. at the request of the heads of state of Hong Kong.
Beijing's defense strategy, which was first published in six years, also declined to exclude the use of force against Taiwan, which claims China as territory, in the case of self-governing democracy, taking all formal steps toward independence. The document cited "external forces" supporting such moves as a cursory reference to the United States, which has long been politically and militarily supporting Taiwan over threats against the central authority of the Communist Party under Xi Jinping, which has repeatedly pledged never to create a territory cede. Although China has warned Taiwan for a long time to declare formal independence, the warnings to the island were more detailed and extensive than previous defense strategies.
"We need to emphasize that Taiwan's independence is a path to a dead end," said Colonel Wu, who joined several high-ranking military officials to explain details of the new strategy document. "If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will undoubtedly be reluctant to fight and resolutely defend the sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of the country."