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Chinese general warns Taiwan Independence supporters to be treated as 'war criminals'

Calling Taiwanese who support independence 'thieves' and 'scum,' Lieutenant General He Lei says they will be considered war criminals in the event of a PLA invasion

File Photo: PLA Lt. Gen. He Lei

File Photo: PLA Lt. Gen. He Lei (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A lieutenant general of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday, Jan. 9 issued an outrageous warning to supporters of Taiwan independence, declaring they would be considered “war criminals” in the event that China invades Taiwan.

He Lei (何雷), who is also the former Vice President of China’s Academy of Military Sciences, said Taiwanese Independence supporters have the “the hearts of thieves” and will become the “scum of the Chinese nation” if the PLA is forced to invade and annex Taiwan.

Using the logic of Chinese imperialism, the general believes that if the PLA forces attack Taiwan, supporters of Taiwanese independence will somehow be to blame and will “inevitably be held responsible as war criminals.”

Speaking at a meeting of China’s State Council Information Office on Jan. 9, He declared the following, as reported by AFP.

"Supporters of Taiwanese separatism must stop in time to avoid disaster, repent and return to the right path. Otherwise they will become the scum of the Chinese nation and be condemned by history."

When asked by media whether the PLA was preparing to attack Taiwan, the general reiterated the recent assertions of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, that China would not renounce the use of force to annex Taiwan, but that military action would be dependent on the actions of “Taiwanese compatriots” themselves, reports UDN.

While claiming that China will strive sincerely for peaceful integration of Taiwan and China, in the next breath the PLA general assured that “separatist elements” in Taiwan would be punished harshly in the event of military conflict.