China will not attack Taiwan: former deputy defense minister

Xi Jinping will continue his carrot-and-stick approach

China's President Xi Jinping.

China's President Xi Jinping. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China will not launch a military attack against Taiwan but continue its present policy of the carrot and the stick, said Lin Chung-pin (林中斌), a former deputy minister at the Ministry of National Defense and the Mainland Affairs Council.

With China having amended its Constitution last Sunday by doing away with term limits for President Xi Jinping (習近平), uncertainty has increased about the meaning of the move for Taiwan.

The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) can conduct talks with China, but it should seek the best possible conditions for Taiwan, Lin was quoted as saying by the China Times.

The China expert emphasized that years ago, he had already said it would be cheaper for China to buy Taiwan rather than try and occupy it by force. Beijing would continue to emphasize its power by sending its air force jets and navy ships to close in on Taiwan and by trying to shut the island out of international organizations and diplomatic allies, Lin said.

However, in order to obtain unification, China would have to rely on the public in Taiwan, so it would absolutely not launch an invasion, but put its soft approach first.

The former deputy defense minister also said that last weekend’s constitutional amendment might not be the last. At present, Xi united the functions of party leader, leader of the military and president of China in his hands, with the third function as the least powerful, but he might seek to introduce a presidential system of government, Lin said.