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China “will not hesitate to start a war” for Taiwan: defense from Beijing to the US / News Today

Wei Fenghe (C), Chinese Defense Minister, present at the Shangri-la dialogue in Singapore.


China “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence, a defense ministry spokesman said on Friday, after a meeting between the Chinese defense minister and his American counterpart in Singapore. It was the first meeting between the two countries since Lloyd Austin took over at the Defense Department. The two leaders had already held telephone conversations in April.

“If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate to start a war at all costs,” Defense Minister Wei Fenghe was quoted as saying by Wu Qian during a meeting with the US defense secretary. The minister also said that Beijing will “squash” any plot for the island’s independence and will “resolutely defend the unification of the motherland,” according to the Chinese ministry.

The leaders of the two countries held their first face-to-face talks in Singapore on the sidelines of the so-called Shangri-la Dialogue, a security forum. Wei insisted that Taiwan belongs to China and that the United States should not “use Taiwan to contain China,” according to the ministry. Austin, on his side, urged Beijing to “refrain from further destabilizing actions towards Taiwan,” according to the Pentagon.

China considers this island of 24 million people as one of its provinces, even though it does not control the territory. Taiwan, a self-governing democratic island, lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which regards it as its territory and has promised to take it one day, by force if necessary.

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From June 10 to 12, the Shangri-la Dialogue is held in Singapore, a forum for senior military officials, diplomats and large arms companies. The event takes place for the first time since 2019 as it was postponed twice due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Lloyd Austin, who arrived in Singapore on Thursday, met with several of his counterparts on Friday. During a meeting with defense ministers from Southeast Asia, he mentioned the US strategy “to maintain an open, inclusive and law-based regional security environment,” according to a Singapore government statement.

Austin thus indirectly referred to the actions of China, which seeks to increase its influence in the region. On Saturday, Austin will deliver a speech during a forum while Wei Fenghe will speak on Sunday.

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Source: Elespectador

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