Beijing tells U.S. that China will ‘not hesitate to start a war’ over Taiwan

Channel News Asia reports on the first meeting between China’s Defense Minister and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held in Singapore on June 10.

SINGAPORE: Beijing will “not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares independence, China’s defence minister warned his US counterpart on Friday (Jun 10), the latest salvo between the superpowers over the island.

The warning came as Wei Fenghe held his first face-to-face meeting with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.

US-China tensions have been soaring over democratic, self-ruled Taiwan, which lives under 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.

Wei warned Austin that “if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost”, defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian quoted the minister as saying during the meeting.

The Chinese minister vowed that Beijing would “smash to smithereens any ‘Taiwan independence’ plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland”, according to the Chinese defence ministry.

He “stressed that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan … Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail”, the ministry said.

Austin “reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the (Taiwan) Strait, opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo, and called on (China) to refrain from further destabilising actions toward Taiwan”, according to the US Department of Defense.

China’s saber rattling bluster is pretty standard.  Given that China is a strategic competitor to the US it is surprising that it has taken this long for these high level meetings to take place.  Regrettably the Brandon administration has been bought and paid for by the CCP, in addition to being weak and feckless.  The fact that the Chinese have not agreed to a meeting until now is a slap in the face to the US, letting us know how unimportant the US is in China’s eyes.

Lloyd Austin, as are all of the Brandon maladministration’s top appointees, was chosen for political reliability rather than competence.  He is a lightweight and the whole world knows it.  China has been lusting after Taiwan ever since the Kuomintang fled there following Mao’s take over in 1949.  The US Navy prevented an invasion of the island in 1953 and is pledged to protect the Republic of China against Communist invasion.

The CCP will never have a better chance to invade than during the run up to this year’s midterm elections in the US as it is doubtful that the US would have the stones to do anything about it.  Whatever other strategic considerations might be under consideration by the Chinese leadership fear about the US response is not likely one of them.

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