Beijing to 'Smash to Smithereens' Any 'Taiwan Independence' Plot, China Defence Chief Warns US
15:29 GMT 10.06.2022 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 19.06.2023)
China, whose official policy envisions a peaceful unification of Taiwan with the Mainland, has repeatedly warned that it sees Washington’s arms sales and unofficial diplomatic support for Taipei as meddling in its internal affairs and a violation of its sovereignty.
Beijing is prepared to take resolute action if Taiwan
declares independence, China's defence minister warned his US counterpart on Friday.
"If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost", Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of National Defence, said at a press conference.
Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin held their first face-to-face meeting in Singapore on Friday.
General Wei Fenghe reiterated China's firm position on the Taiwan issue, vowing that Beijing would "smash to smithereens any ‘Taiwan independence’ plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland", according to the ministry.
The general "stressed that Taiwan is China's Taiwan... Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail", according to the Global Times.
“There is only one China, and Taiwan is a sacred, inalienable part of China's territory", Defence Minister General Wei stated, noting that the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations.
The Chinese side deplored another recent arms sale to Taiwan announced by the US as severely harming China's sovereignty and security interests. Nevertheless, according to Wu Qian, it was a frank, positive and constructive strategic communication between the two sides, as they agreed their respective militaries should “carefully implement the key consensus reached by the two countries' top leaders, keep frequent communication and manage risks and crises”.
In response, Washington urged an end to what it described as China’s "destabilizing actions toward Taiwan", the US Department of Defence said.
The island of Taiwan has been governed independently from Mainland China since 1949, when it split from Beijing during a civil war that resulted in the Communist Party taking control.
Beijing, whose official policy envisions a peaceful unification of Taiwan with Mainland China over time, has engaged in rounds of talks with island authorities over several decades. Taipei, however, has persistently rejected Beijing’s proposal for "one country, two systems".
Formally, the US recognises
the People’s Republic of China as the country's sole legitimate government, and that Taiwan is a Chinese province. However, in reality, the US continues to funnel weapons to the Taiwanese government – something that Beijing has repeatedly warned is blatant interference in its internal affairs.
On 8 June the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the State Department had greenlit
a $120 million sale of “ship spare parts, ship system spare parts, and related equipment” to Taiwan. Due to the unofficial nature of US-Taiwan relations, the deal, yet to be approved by Congress, would go through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). The latter is Taipei’s de facto embassy in Washington, DC.
“US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué, gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests and severely harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Thursday after the sale was announced.