Tensions have risen sharply in Singapore between the United States and China. The two clashed this Friday on the subject of Taiwan, Beijing vowing to “break” any attempt at independence, and Washington calling on China to stop destabilizing Taiwan.
China “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday after a meeting with his US counterpart. “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a moment to start a war, at any cost,” Wu Qian said in a statement by Defense Minister Wei. Fenghe during a meeting with American Lloyd Austin.
At the meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Security Forum, Lloyd Austin told his Chinese counterpart that Beijing should “refrain” from any new destabilizing action on the island of Taiwan. the Pentagon. According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing “would break into a thousand pieces” any attempt at independence, and “will not hesitate to start a war.”
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.
Taiwan, a democratic and autonomous island, lives under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion. Beijing considers the island its territory and has vowed to seize it one day, by force if necessary. China believes that this island of 24 million people is one of its historic provinces, even if it does not control it.
It is therefore conducting raids in Taiwan’s air defense zone. On May 30, China launched its second largest raid of the year, with 30 aircraft entering Taipei, according to the Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz). the island, including 20 hunters.
Threat of annexation in the coming years
As early as last month, Joe Biden pledged to intervene militarily if China ever attacked Taiwan. Financial Times. A break with decades of American politics. Of course, the comment did not go unnoticed, and was very harshly welcomed by Beijing: “If the United States continues to go the wrong way,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, ” an unbearable price ”.
On the same day, China and Russia carried out a joint nuclear bombing exercise near Japan. This exchange in Singapore, the latest in a spiral of martial messages between the United States and China, reflects growing fears in Washington and Taipei that Beijing may try to annex Taiwan in the coming years.