Xi Jinping clears non-war use of army, raising fear of ‘special military operation’ in Taiwan

Just as Putin has done, the Chinese president has signed a directive allowing a "special military operation" instead of a war


Simina Mistreanu, The Telegraph

via National Post (Canada) - Jun 15, 2022


Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed a directive allowing for “non-war” uses of the military – raising concerns it could pave the way for an invasion of Taiwan that would be labelled a “special military operation” instead of a war, just as Russia has done in Ukraine.


The directive, which comes into effect on Wednesday, provides “the legal basis for troops to carry out military operations other than war”, state media reported.


Xi reasserted his country’s support for Russia on issues of sovereignty and security in a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, state media said.


Xi told Putin that “all parties should responsibly push for a proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency.


China has refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or even to refer to it in such terms, while accusing NATO and the West of provoking Moscow into attacking.


Weeks before the Russian attack, Putin and Xi met in Beijing in February and oversaw the signing of an agreement pledging that relations between the sides would have “no limits.” It remains unclear whether Xi knew at the time of Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine.


In the directive, China states it aims to maintain “national sovereignty… regional stability and regulating the organization and implementation of non-war military operations” alongside objectives such as providing disaster relief and humanitarian aid abroad.


The move comes amid heightened tensions with Taiwan, a self-ruled democracy that China sees as a breakaway province. China’s ruling Communist Party has never governed Taiwan, but Xi, who is seeking an unprecedented third term in office, has made China’s stated “re-unification” with Taiwan part of his public mission.


The military directive “has political implication toward Taiwan,” said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing.


“The reunification with Taiwan is one of the basics of why Xi will go on to a third term,” he said, adding that the directive is the latest step in China’s effort to outline what its strategy will be on Taiwan during Xi’s third term in office...