The day after statements by American Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, criticizing Beijing of “provocative and destructive” military activity, his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, assured, on Sunday, during the security forum “Shangri -La Dialogue ”, in Singapore, that China will“ fight to the end ”to prevent Taiwan from declaring its independence.
New diplomatic pass between Americans and Chinese on Taiwan’s sensitive issue: China will “fight to the end” to prevent the island from declaring its independence, the Defense Minister said on Sunday, June 12. China, at a time when tensions are mounting. between Beijing and Washington in the Pacific.
This declaration seems to be in response to that, the other day, by the American Minister of Defense, Lloyd Austin, who criticized the military activity as “irritating and discouraging” in Beijing near Taiwan.
This verbal clash between the two superpowers comes in the context of intense diplomatic tensions on the autonomous and democratic island, which Beijing considers an integral part of its territory.
Unprecedented raids by Chinese military planes into the Taiwanese air defense zone have increased the pressure in recent months.
“We will fight at all costs and we will fight to the end. This is the only choice for China,” Wei Fenghe said in an offensive tone during the “Shangri-Dialogue” security forum. The “in Singapore.
“Those who seek Taiwan’s independence with the intention of dividing China will never achieve their goal,” he said. “No one should underestimate the determination and capability of China’s armed forces to protect the integrity of its territory.”
Wei Fenghe urged Washington to “stop humiliating and suppressing China (…), stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop damaging China’s interests”. But he was also more unanimous, calling for a “stable” China-US relationship, which he said was “essential for world peace”.
During his speech, Lloyd Austin, on Saturday, criticized China’s “outrageous and destructive” military activity near Taiwan, a day after a strong warning from Beijing.
“We are seeing increasing pressure from Beijing. We are seeing a continuing rise in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan,” the Pentagon chief told a security forum in Singapore. But he also stressed the importance of maintaining a “fully open line of communication with China’s defense officials” to avoid miscalculations.
The couple had their first one-on-one talk on the sidelines of the Singapore summit on Friday, where they met in Taiwan.
China considers this island with 24 million inhabitants one of the historic provinces it intends to reclaim by force if necessary.
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According to a spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry, Wei Fenghe said on Friday at a meeting with Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of this forum: “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will not hesitate. -two to start a war., whatever the cost “. Beijing will “crush a thousand pieces” in any attempt at independence, China’s Defense Ministry has warned.
For his part, Lloyd Austin told Wei Fenghe that Beijing should “avoid” any further destabilizing action in this region, according to the Pentagon.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry responded on Saturday by saying it rejected Beijing’s “unreasonable claims”.
President Joe Biden, during a visit to Japan last month, appeared to have violated decades of U.S. policy when, in response to a question, he said Washington would defend Taiwan’s military if attacked by China . The White House has since insisted that its policy of “strategic ambiguity” on possible intervention has not changed.
This dispute is only the latest between Washington and Beijing. The South China Sea is another major hotspot in the region. China owns almost all of this resource -rich sea, through which billions of dollars of maritime trade pass through each year.
Wei Fenghe insisted on Sunday that China respected freedom of navigation and attacked Washington covertly. “A large power has long practiced shipping hegemony under the guise of freedom of navigation,” he said.
Wei Fenghe said China, North Korea’s main ally, wants peace on the Korean Peninsula after a recent series of weapons tests. “The key to (solving) the problem today is to pay attention to and satisfy the security interests of all parties,” he said.
Speaking at the summit on Sunday, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said Seoul would strengthen defense capabilities and work with the United States against the threat from the North.
With the AFP