A toughly-worded "special article" published by the Global Times (August 13) reported a statement issued by the PLA Eastern Theater Command on August 13 that it would continuously organize actual combat exercises in the Taiwan Strait and "the north and south sides". It stated this was because "individual powers" continued to move negatively on Taiwan-related issues and made mistakes on the "Taiwan independence" forces and that the 'exercises are necessary because of the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and for the maintenance of national security and sovereignty'. Linking US Health Secretary Alex Azar's visit with the new National Defense Authorization Act, it said these constitute a 'trend for the U.S. and Taiwan to upgrade their relations and take more dangerous steps. This is a "sausage-cutting" strategy to destroy the status quo in the Taiwan Strait'. The statement asserted that the PLA’s exercise in the Eastern Theater District is to issue a clear warning to Taiwan and the United States, declaring that mainland China will never sit back and watch Taiwan’s determination to challenge and erode the "one China" principle. Taiwan and the United States should not imagine that they can smoothly promote official relations. This process must mean that they cannot bear the risks'. Stating also that 'this exercise in the Eastern Theater District sent a clear and unmistakable message: the mainland’s military pressure on Taiwan will increase with the increase in US-Taiwan collusion', it added that "as long as Taiwan and the United States can withstand the deterioration of the Taiwan Strait military situation, we are not afraid of what might happen as a result. The earth is shaking and the mountains are shaking". The special article further warned "Mainland China will not allow Taiwan to increase its "independent" bargaining chips by acting as a strategic pawn for the United States, and it has no doubt about those chips. The increase in Taiwan-US collusion will only mean greater risks to Taiwan. Its economic environment will become severely turbulent and uncertain, and its comprehensive losses will greatly exceed its gains, and it will push itself to the brink of war. The United States must never overestimate the threat of its military intervention in the Taiwan Strait situation. The Chinese generally no longer believe that once a war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, the US military is capable of dominating the battlefield situation. The Chinese people have enough courage to defend national sovereignty by conducting a military showdown in the Taiwan Strait when all other options have failed, and they are confident of winning the final victory. We don't want to get there, but no one can imagine that Taiwan can be separated from Taiwan by "cutting sausage" or intimidating".

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