China “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense assured Friday after a meeting between Chinese Minister Wei Fenghe and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin in Singapore.
It was a summit meeting that took place this Friday in Singapore between China and the USA. It is also the first time that the two powers have met around a table since the incursion of 30 Chinese military aircraft into the Taiwan air defense identification zone, the largest operation of its kind carried out by Paékin in 2022.
China, which claims territory from Taiwan, has indeed increased its military activity near the island over the past two years in response to what it calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington.
The US and Chinese defense ministers remained firm on their positions on Taiwan on Friday, in their first face-to-face meeting since the start of Joe Biden’s presidency.
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New: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Austin reiterates US’ longstanding committment to One China-Policy, also cautioning against the “unilateral” change of status quo on #Taiwan pic.twitter.com/OBwPwbwh6Y
— Dhairya Maheshwari (@dhairyam14) June 10, 2022
It is therefore in a tense context that Wei Fenghe met this Friday, June 10, Lloyd Austin for the first time.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said talks with United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin went “smoothly and frankly.” The two top military officials met ahead of Shangri-La Dialogue security summit opening in Singapore on Friday, June 10. #OurWorld pic.twitter.com/SoNsQvL6K1
— Our World (@OurWorl91027476) June 10, 2022
A meeting held on the sidelines of the “Shangri-la Dialogue” security forum held in the city-state, CGTV reported. The pair had previously chatted by phone in April.
Although the two sides have said they want to better manage their relations, the positions of Beijing and Washington remain polarized around several volatile security situations, from Taiwan sovereignty to military activity in the South China Sea, including the invasion. of Ukraine by Russia.
It is impossible to use issues related to Taiwan as a means to contain #Chinasaid Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, adding that any “Taiwan independence” attempt will be crushed, during talks with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Singapore on Friday. pic.twitter.com/wtmgYroPSE
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) June 10, 2022
According to Wei Fenghei, the talks went “smoothly” and a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense later added that he had reiterated Beijing’s firm position on Taiwan, which is that the island is part of the China. “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a moment to start a war, no matter what the cost”. Comments reported by Wu Qian, the spokesperson for the Minister of Defense at the end of this meeting with the American Lloyd Austin.
Chinese and American officials, however, stressed the cordiality of the debates, a sign that they could open the door to increased communication between their two armies.
Lloyd Austin, for his part, called on China to “refrain from any further destabilizing actiontowards Taiwan, according to a Washington statement released after the interview.