A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said China would not hesitate to start a war if Taiwan declared independence.
Speaking during a meeting with Lloyd Austin, Defense Minister Wei Fengke said, “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will never hesitate to start a war.”
Wei made the remarks during a meeting with Austin on the sidelines of the annual Security Council Shangri-La Dialogue event in Singapore after the US official took office in January 2019. 2021.
The two governors have been in telephone contact since April.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the meeting, which lasted 30 minutes longer than planned, came after US President Joe Biden warned in May that the “compulsory” annexation of Taiwan by China would indicate US military intervention.
At the meeting, the US Secretary of Defense told his Chinese envoy that Beijing should “avoid” any destructive action against the island of Taiwan, the Pentagon said.
Friction between the United States and China has multiplied in recent years: China’s growing influence in the South China Sea, the Asia-Pacific region, the war in Ukraine and Taiwan.
China considers the island, home to 24 million people, to be one of its historic provinces, and Beijing has stepped up military pressure against Taiwan in recent years.
The meeting between Wei Fengke and Lloyd Austin comes just weeks after 30 Chinese military planes infiltrated Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (‘Adiz’) – the biggest move in 2022.
The United States has accused China of escalating tensions with Taiwan, citing US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen’s incursions as a sign of Beijing’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and activities.
During a visit to Japan last month, President Joe Biden appeared to have broken US policy for decades, answering a question, pointing out that Washington could militarily defend Taiwan during Beijing’s invasion.
The White House has insisted that the deliberately ambiguous notion of “strategic ambiguity” governing Washington’s Taiwan policy for decades remains unchanged.