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Chinese academic condemns Beijing’s hardline Taiwan policies

Threats of unification by military force will only fuel hate, says Zheng Yefu

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a screen at a Communist Party event in 2021. 

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a screen at a Communist Party event in 2021.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China should stop threatening the use of military force against Taiwan, said retired Peking University sociologist Zheng Yefu (鄭也夫) on Wednesday (Jan. 26).

The essayist said in a social media post that the threats would harm the case for peaceful unification and could even cause a war with the United States, UDN reported.

Zheng, 71, said in the short statement that not speaking out against unification by force amounted to “collectively accepting” the use of force, but added he would not accept requests from media to expand on his views.

As the Chinese government still emphasized that “peaceful unification” was the priority, threats of violence would only fuel hate, the intellectual said. Mentioning Taiwan’s seven decades of de facto independence, Zheng added that 45 years of separation had not prevented West and East Germany from unifying.

He also said he opposed the threat of force against Taiwan because too many wars had started with threats that could not be de-escalated. Continuing with threats could lead to a war between China and the U.S. over Taiwan, according to Zheng.