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China vows ‘fight to the end’ to stop Taiwan independence

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin listens to China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe at the ministerial roundtable luncheon at the Shangri-La Dialogue summit on Saturday

China will “fight to the very end” to stop Taiwanese independence, the country’s defence minister vowed Sunday, stoking already soaring tensions with the United States over the island. 

It was the latest salvo in a growing war of words between the superpowers over the self-ruled, democratic island, which Beijing views as part of its territory awaiting reunification.

Defence Minister Wei Fenghe hit back in a fiery address at the same event, saying Beijing had “no choice” but to fight if attempts are made to separate Taiwan from China.

“No one should ever underestimate the resolve and ability of the Chinese armed forces to safeguard its territorial integrity.”

Wei urged Washington to “stop smearing and containing China… stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop harming China’s interests,” he said. 

During his address, Austin also said he wants “lines of communication” with Chinese officials to remain open.

– Myriad disputes –

President Joe Biden, during a visit to Japan last month, appeared to break decades of US policy when, in response to a question, he said Washington would defend Taiwan militarily if it was attacked by China.

The dispute is just the latest between Washington and Beijing.

China claims almost all of the resource-rich sea, through which trillions of dollars in shipping trade passes annually, with competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

bur-sr/cwl

Originally published as China vows ‘fight to the end’ to stop Taiwan independence

Place of originChina vows ‘fight to the end’ to stop Taiwan independence

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