On Sunday, China’s defense minister said China would “struggle to the end” to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, as tensions escalated between Beijing and Washington over the island’s fate.
We will fight at any cost and we will fight to the end. “It is the only option for China,” Wei Fengyi said in Singapore at the Shangri-La Conference on Security Dialogue.
“Those who seek Taiwan independence with the aim of dividing China will certainly not achieve their goals,” he said. “No one should underestimate the determination and ability of the Chinese armed forces to protect its territorial integrity.”
His speech came the day after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denounced Beijing’s “provocative and destabilizing” military activity near Taiwan.
China regards this democratic, autonomous island of 24 million people as one of its historic provinces, even if it does not control it, and has increased pressure on Taipei in recent years, for example through its incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
These actions have heightened tensions with the United States, which are already high on many other fronts.
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