Beijing has said it will “break into a thousand pieces” any attempt at the island’s independence.
The warning is clear. On Friday, the Chinese Defense Minister said that his country “would not hesitate” to go to war if Taiwan declared its independence, during a meeting in Singapore with its American counterpart, dedicated in particular on this deep topic. dispute between the two countries.
“If anyone dared to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military would not hesitate for a moment to start a war, at any cost,” said Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian. reporting on Minister Wei Fenghe’s remarks at a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
“Whatever the price”
According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing – which considers the island an integral part of its territory – would “break into a thousand pieces” any attempt at independence.
For his part, Lloyd Austin told Wei Fenghe that Beijing should “refrain” from any new destabilizing action in the region, according to the Pentagon.
He “reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Strait (of Taiwan), an opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo, and called on (China) to refrain from any further destabilizing action on Taiwan.” , according to the same source.
The two officials, who spoke by telephone in April, have been meeting for the first time since Lloyd Austin took office on the sidelines of the “Shangri-la Dialogue” security forum in Singapore on Sunday. for the first time since 2019, due to the pandemic.
The points of contention have multiplied in recent years between the two countries: the South China Sea, China’s growing influence in Asia-Pacific, the war in Ukraine and Taiwan.
China believes that this island of 24 million people is one of its historic provinces, even if it does not control it, and has increased pressure on Taipei in recent years, for example by conducting raids on the island. Taiwan Air Defense Zone.
On May 30, China made its second largest raid of the year, with thirty aircraft entering, according to Taipei, in the Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz). the island, including 20 hunters. On January 23, 39 planes entered the Adiz.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saw the incursions as a sign of “increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity” on the part of Beijing.
During a visit to Japan in May, President Joe Biden seemed to break with decades of U.S. politics when in response to a question, he said Washington could defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Beijing invasion.
The White House has since insisted that “strategic ambiguity,” the deliberately vague concept that has governed Washington’s Taiwanese policy for decades, has remained unchanged.