Beijing: China reaffirming its dominance over Taiwan on Thursday warned the democratically-elected government that “independence means war” after recent stepped up military activities near the island.
Taiwan, which is claimed by China as its own territory, had recently reported increased activity of Chinese fighter jets and bombers in its southwestern air defence identification zone since last weekend, which prompted Washington to urge Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.
Beijing, responding to Washington injunction said its armed forces were only acting in response to provocation and foreign interference.
To note, Chinese government believes that Taiwan is moving towards a declaration of formal independence, however, President Tsai Ing-wen has repeatedly stated that Taiwan is already an independent country.
Whereas, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian recently claimed Taiwan as an inseparable part of China.
“The military activities carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait are necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” he had said.
“They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he further added.
Wu also alleged that a “handful” of people in Taiwan were seeking the island’s independence.
“We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and ‘Taiwan independence’ means war,” he said.
However, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council in a stern tone said that China should think carefully and should not underestimate the island’s determination to defend its sovereignty and uphold freedom and democracy.
China has on many occasions claimed Taiwan as its most important and sensitive issue in relations with the United States and under the former Trump administration had also ramped up support for the island in terms of arms sales and senior officials visiting Taipei.
Taiwan, however, has denounced China’s threats and efforts at intimidation, while Tsai has vowed to defend the island’s freedom.
US President Joe Biden’s newly formed administration has reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan as being “rock solid”, which may further strained US relations with Beijing.