Beijing (The Times Groupe)- China will “fight until the very end” to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, the country’s defense minister Wei Fenghe pledged in a speech alongside his counterparts from other countries.
“We will fight at all cost and we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China,” Wei Fenghe told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore, where he called Taiwan “first and foremost China’s Taiwan”.
“Those who pursue Taiwanese independence in an attempt to split China will definitely come to no good end. No one should ever underestimate the resolve and ability of the Chinese armed forces to safeguard its territorial integrity.”
A day earlier, the US defense secretary accused China of “provocative, destabilizing” military activity near the island.
Beijing views democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory that awaits reunification, if necessary by force. Tensions between the United States and China have increased over Taiwan as a result of a growing number of Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry has called China’s claims of sovereignty “absurd” and thanked the US for its support.
“Taiwan has never been under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government, and Taiwan’s people will not submit to threats of force from the Chinese government,” said ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou.
Taiwan’s premier, Su Tseng-chang, said that Taiwan was willing to engage in goodwill with China, on equal footing, without political preconditions.