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‘China will not hesitate to start war over Taiwan’

By Orowo Victoria Ojieh with agency report

If Taiwan declares independence, Beijing will “not hesitate to start a war,” Defence Minister of China warned his United States counterpart at the weekend.

“If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost,” Wei Fenghe said during a meeting with Lloyd Austin.

The warning came as he held his first face-toface meeting with Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore. The Chinese minister also vowed that Beijing would “smash to smithereens any ‘Taiwan independence’ plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland.” He “stressed that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan…

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Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail”, the ministry said. Austin told his Chinese counterpart during the talks in Singapore that Beijing must “refrain from further destabilising actions toward Taiwan.”

Tensions over Taiwan have escalated due to increasing Chinese aircraft incursions into the island’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Taiwan, a self-ruled, democratic island, lives under the constant threat of invasion by China. Beijing views the island as its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.

US and China tensions over the issue have risen in recent months. US President Joe Biden, during a visit to Japan last month, appeared to break decades of US policy when, in response to a question, he said Washington would defend Taiwan militarily if it is attacked by China.

The White House has since insisted its policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether or not it would intervene has not changed.

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