CNN is reporting that the (People’s Republic of) China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) has passed a resolution authorizing Beijing to use force against Taiwan to prevent it from formally declaring its independence. (Taiwan has, of course, been independent in practice since 1949, but the Beijing regime is very much against anyone saying so, and saying so is rather controversial in Taiwan as well, since this would implicitly recognize (legitimize?) Communist control of the mainland.)
Now given the form of government in Beijing, the fact that the National People’s Congress (all of whose members are appointed by said government) does not really change anything legally. From the standpoint of legality in use there, they could have used force just as easily last week as this week.
However, the fact that they bothered to have the NPC pass this, and that they announced it, shows that they really want to remind everyone that they reserve the “right” to use force against Taiwan. And this is rather worrisome, especially in light of the fact that they are increasing the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan. And the fact that much of the U.S. military is presently occupied elsewhere (Iraq, Afghanistan, probably standing by for North Korea, Syria, etc.).
(Hat tip: Matt Drudge for both links.)