In the dispute over Taiwan's independence, China's Defense Minister Wei is reiterating his country's determined course by threatening friends of the democratically governed island. Anyone who supports independence will "definitely not end well".
China will fight Taiwan's independence "to the end," Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said. "We will fight at all costs and we will fight to the end," Wei said at a security conference in Singapore on Sunday. China has no other choice.
"Those who seek Taiwan independence in order to divide China will definitely not end well," the minister added in a speech at the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue. "Nobody should ever underestimate the Chinese armed forces' determination to protect China's territorial integrity."
On Friday, at a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the fringes of the Shangri-La dialogue, Wei had already threatened war if Taiwan declared independence. "If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war at any cost," Wei said, according to his spokesman.
On Saturday, Austin criticized China for its "provocative and destabilizing" military activities near Taiwan. Washington has observed a "steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity," Austin said. As an example, he cited Chinese military aircraft "which have flown near Taiwan in record numbers and almost daily in recent months."
US President Joe Biden pledged military support to Taiwan in May in the event of a Chinese invasion, sparking outrage in Beijing. The relationship between the two world powers has increasingly deteriorated in recent years. In particular, security issues are causing tension, affecting, among other things, Taiwan, the South China Sea and the Ukraine war.
China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland - if necessary with military force. The US is pursuing a line of "strategic ambiguity" on this issue. In doing so, they assure Taiwan of support in building up its defense capabilities, but do not expressly promise to come to the island's aid in the event of war.