The Chinese mainland said on Wednesday Taiwan compatriots will not be used as cannon fodder for the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces, in rebuke to Taiwan authorities' extension of the so-called mandatory military service from four months to one year.
The complete reunification of the motherland is the common will of all Chinese people and is an unstoppable historical trend, said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, when asked about the extension at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Quoting an ancient Chinese saying, Wang said striving for the achievement of national reunification is weightier than Mount Taishan while working for the secessionist activities of "Taiwan independence" is lighter than a feather.
"We believe all our compatriots in Taiwan are sensible and righteous and will not serve as cannon fodder for the 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces," he said.
The extension was announced by Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday and will be effective as of 2024.
Taiwan residents strongly oppose it due to its non-peaceful association.
Experts also view it as a deplorable decision to push those in Taiwan, especially the young, to the front line of a possible military conflict under the irresistible pressure of the United States, according to the Global Times.
Chang Ya-chung, president of the Sun Yat-sen School in Taiwan, told the Global Times that cross-strait tension is not what Taiwan residents want, but it is in the U.S. strategic interest to arm the island and use it as a frontline pawn to contain the Chinese mainland.
Chang added that the U.S. may ask Taiwan authorities to increase the defense budget to purchase more U.S. weapons and ensure the island's military is in line with Washington's strategy.
(Cover: The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei City, southeast China's Taiwan. /Xinhua)