In a livestream on Chinese social network Weibo, also posted on YouTube on December 2, 2021, by Zhanhuju Shangshu, senior CCP-favored scholars and media personalities Jin Canrong, Shen Yi, and Hu Xijin spoke about Taiwan and reunification with mainland China. Hu Xijin, who was at the time of the livestream the editor-in-chief of the CCP-run newspaper The Global Times, said that the reunification process has already begun and warned Japan that it will be "finished" if it joins the conflict over Taiwan. Jin Canrong, a well-known professor and pundit, discussed in detail how to punish Western lawmakers who have supported Taiwanese independence by singling out their constituencies for targeted economic sanctions. Canrong even suggested using military jets to intimidate those lawmakers when they visit Taiwan.
Shen Yi, a professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, questioned America's commitment to defending Taiwan with its own troops, and he said that U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a "gold-devouring political beast" for offering to sell American weapons to Taiwan. Yi also said that as long as China is able to quickly overcome Taiwan's defenses, America would not have time to intervene if an armed conflict breaks out. For more about Jin Canrong, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 9240, 9608, 9564, 9090, and 9250. For more about Hu Xijin, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 9247, 9226, 9223, 9148, 9142, 8504, 8510, 8522, 8546, and 9058. For more about Shen Yi, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9284.
Jin Canrong: "So I think it may become a common phenomenon in the future for European and American lawmakers to make trouble over the Taiwan issue. What are we going to do about that? Here are my thoughts: I think that we on the mainland side will definitely take some measures, for the simple reason that the Taiwan issue is our bottom-line issue, so we will definitely take some countermeasures. So how do you do that? I think our government's front-line personnel dealing with this issue still have tricks up their sleeves. We're only sitting here and prattling about the general principle, aren't we? It's easy for us to discuss it, but real frontline operations are much more complex.
"Since you just did the roll call on me, I'll give some rather empty suggestions as a layman. I think one measure to take, from the government level, is that we should lodge a complaint with the U.S. government. For example, if one of their congressmen did something out of line, of course we should intervene through diplomatic channels. It is necessary to do so. It's like leaving a historical record. If he did something bad and you didn't speak out against it, then we would have problems in the future negotiations, right?
"Legally speaking you've got to say something and take a stand when they did something bad, whether they listen or not. I've made my position clear. So this is one thing we need to do. We need to intervene diplomatically. Another measure, of course, is to impose some sort of sanctions on the congressmen.
"For example, we need to figure out a way that, these congressmen probably won't be able to visit mainland China for a period of time in the future. Some diplomatic sanctions like this should be imposed. In addition, their families and their related business interests can also receive certain countermeasures, right?
"And to be even more precise, the constituency these congressmen represent can also receive certain sanctions, economically speaking. Because they are career politicians, and when you hit their districts' economies, that will hurt them a little.
"In addition, as laymen, maybe we can suggest strengthening some military deterrence against their provocative actions. Let's leave certain impressions on the Taiwan authorities and the offending Western politicians. If we do things more accurately in the future, when these Western lawmakers go there, we should not rule out that our military jets may fly over and wave their wings by his passenger plane. That will scare them. To escort, to show our courtesy. We have guests visiting our home, we can always say hello, right? So I think there'll be some actions taken.
"My understanding is that what they did is definitely wrong. They are very selfish, putting their national interests at risk, provoking tensions in cross-Strait relations and China-U.S. relations. There has to be a backlash against these irresponsible and speculative politicians, right? As I said, we need to speak out diplomatically and make our position clear. Then, if possible, economic sanctions need to follow. If still possible, certain military deterrence should be taken."
Shen Yi: "The so-called strategic ambiguity in the Taiwan Strait now is a situation in which the U.S. deliberately maintains a stance opposing unification and independence. An interesting point is, first of all, since 1949, the power gap between Mainland China on one side and Washington, the U.S., on the other has been a process of [going] from being very large to gradually being narrowed. If the U.S. has a clear strategy in the Taiwan Strait, including a war with China over the Taiwan Strait, then what is the biggest challenge it will face in this war?
"For China, Taiwan is an issue of territory and sovereignty. If we go to war, we won't stop until we reach our goal of taking back Taiwan. We will commit all resources to achieve this goal. For the U.S. side, is it willing to commit as many resources to the Taiwan Strait as China is? If not, its action will always be based on this process of 'putting away the cup after a tiny sip.' Then what is its strategic clarity later on? I think it is in fact a decent getaway. For this decent gateway, they even started to build a set of strategies of using their own excuses to convince themselves.
"What does that mean? It means even when American politicians like [U.S. Senator Marco] Rubio, a 'gold-devouring political beast' raised by Taiwanese, tried to sell his plan to Taiwan, the plan was not to send U.S. troops to Taiwan to fight for Taiwan, but to sell their weapons to Taiwan and turn Taiwan into a hedgehog, so it can't be swallowed by the mainland: or because the mainland doesn't think it's cost-effective to swallow you, we won't even try, which is the so-called 'scorched earth resistance.'
"The new weapons such as Javelin missiles, and the so-called long-range counterattack weapons, included in the new arms sales, actually all came from this kind of thinking. So in this sense, we may not need to invest too much energy in caring about how U.S. strategy evolves. We only need to do a good job maintaining and controlling the red line and bottom line. Then the real question is how we can systematically strengthen the improvement of our ability and fundamentally solve this problem, since the U.S. has shown some clear moves to use the Taiwan issue to contain China's rise and restrict us.
"Finally, let's go back to the U.S. military presence in Taiwan you just mentioned. In fact, this matter is very interesting. As you said, these people have been present in Taiwan for a long time, why are they exposed now and in this way? It was revealed when Tsai Ing-wen was interviewed on CNN. That is, to a certain degree, Tsai Ing-wen wants to use these three dozen U.S. troops to hijack the U.S. policy of ambiguity. She is dissatisfied with the ambiguous policy. She wants it to be clarified as soon as possible, and have the U.S. provide a blank check for her political theater of 'Taiwan independence.'
"In fact, this is another side of the ambiguous policy pursued by the U.S., that is, they will never put the right to be free and the right to decide in hands other than theirs, which is not the practice of the U.S. Therefore, in this sense, it will also give us a certain perception and understanding of the so-called question of whether the U.S. will unambiguously intervene in the Taiwan issue.
"Personally, I think political intervention is 100% likely. Diplomatic actions will certainly occur. Economically, very likely, but the economic scope, its intensity and sustainable duration, will be very flexible.
"As for the military interventions, I personally think it may not be certain to say that they won't intervene at all, but to what extent will they get involved? Judging from the information conveyed by the U.S., the priorities they are more interested in are still to manage and control the situation, and to avoid direct conflict.
"Second, to build a backup defense line in the surrounding areas, especially along the line from Guam, Hawaii to Australia, to avoid facing a situation where rapid changes take place in the Taiwan Strait. That is to say, a situation where as soon as this side makes a move, everything gets settled on the other side within 24 hours. It will be too late for them to intervene and expand operations even if they want to. I remember there was an assessment done in the 1990s saying it would take two weeks for the entire U.S. fleet to get involved in the Taiwan Strait conflict and to launch operations.
"So for a while, Lee Teng-hui hold Taiwan that their goal was to resist the mainland for two weeks. After the two weeks, the U.S. military would rush to the rescue. Can you still resist for two weeks now? More like two or three days. That's the idea. For the U.S. side, they are now facing this situation: if [in one quick] boom China storms over and solves the problem within a week and all major resistances are eliminated, will the U.S. rush over and fight all over again? That's impossible. Are they going to carry out anti-amphibious warfare to take Taiwan back? Impossible."
Hu Xijin: "I've said more than once that Taiwan is now equivalent to Beijing when it was besieged in 1949. A Taiwan TV station rebroadcasted the video of Old Hu [referring to himself]. At that time, they aired my video on Taiwanese TV. After that, they said Old Hu was sour on Taiwan independence. They were angry about it. The Taiwan side often attacks The Global Times and me, saying that we undermine peace in Taiwan Strait and the cross-strait atmosphere.
"But I don't think what I said was in vain. I think what Taiwan is facing now... The power of the mainland is like two arms holding Taiwan to our chest. So what Taiwan is doing right now is like a few birds still fighting in a cage. In fact, I think our reunification process has already begun. Although Taiwan's political authorities at all levels are still jumping and tossing, our peripheral work is in fact becoming more and more solid.
"The reunification process has actually started and our authority for the process is being established in the periphery. So I think we are really seeing the horizon of a complete solution to the Taiwan issue, rather than shouting empty slogans like 'we must liberate Taiwan,' [like] in the past. [In] that past, in those early years, because our ability was relatively weak, the goal was relatively far. Today, we speak of peaceful reunification, but our capacity is already there.
"So the Americans keep saying that in 2027, the Chinese mainland could take action against Taiwan, and some say 2025, all sorts of things. [former Japanese PM Shinzo] Abe said that if China uses force against Taiwan, then economically China will be... He used the term 'economically dead' or something like that, meaning that China will be economically finished.
"I wrote an article yesterday and said, 'If Japan comes to join the war, Japan will be completely finished, not only economically.' China will avenge the generational feud with Japan all at once. Let them get their just desserts! The U.S. is too far away from China, but it's easy to hit Japan. If Japan leans over and asks for a beating, China will not be polite. I think that must be the case."