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PLA calls 'Taiwanese independence forces' tumor that must be removed

Colonel warns 'operation' must be conducted, responsibility is not of 'scalpel'

PLA Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo. (CGTN screenshot)

PLA Senior Colonel Zhao Xiaozhuo. (CGTN screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A member of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on a Chinese state-run TV show on Tuesday (April 11) described "Taiwanese independence forces" as a tumor that must be removed.

After President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) landmark meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, China retaliated by launching the three-day "Joint Sword" exercises around Taiwan from April 8-10. During an interview on CGTN, the show's host Tian Wei (田偉) asked Zhao Xiaozhuo (趙小卓), a senior colonel and senior fellow at the PLA's Academy of Military Sciences, if the latest drills will "escalate tensions in the region as some Western analysts suggested?"

Zhao said it is possible that it could escalate tensions around "Taiwan Island." However, he claimed that these heightened tensions were caused by "Taiwan independence forces."

He alleged that "Taiwan independence forces" have forced the PLA to take "counter actions." The colonel then compared Taiwanese not willing to submit to Beijing's rule to a person who has developed a tumor.

Zhao said that in such a situation, doctors must perform an operation to remove the tumor. He said that the body will experience pain from the surgery and asked "What causes the pain, the scalpel or the tumor?"

Answering his own question, Zhao said "Of course, the tumor," and if it is not removed, it will cause problems for one's health. He argued that the "core root of the problem is Taiwan independence separatist forces."

He then warned that an "operation" must be conducted and that the responsibility is not of the "scalpel."

Thorsten Benner, co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute, retweeted the video and described the PLA's messaging as "De-humanization at work." Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. responded to the video by posting a tweet in which it stressed that, "It is imperative that like-minded countries stand together to counter China's threats to international order and Cross-Strait peace."