Beijing – “The issue of Taiwan is a matter of China’s sovereignty and integrity. If anyone did try to separate Taiwan from China by challenging our integrity, the Chinese military would use any means to counter it”, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe warned. Beijing appears to have issued the warning to the United States after it sent out its destroyers to Taiwan. At the same time, Taiwan responded to the Chinese warning by organising a military live fire Drill in the South China Sea.
Four days ago, two US guided-missile destroyers, had patrolled the Taiwan Strait which Taiwan had welcomed. However, since China has consistently claimed Taiwan to be its integral part, it objected to the proceedings and threatened the United States. At a forum that China held with its allies akin the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe issued a warning to the US to keep distance from Taiwan.
“Taiwan is a crucial part of China’s sovereignty, and other nations should keep that in mind. Provoking China’s dominion consistently may prove dangerous. If an attempt is made to separate Taiwan from China, the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) will retaliate to defend it ‘at any cost'”, China’s Defence Minister Fenghe threatened. Chinese state-sponsored media have claimed the threat to be directed towards the United States. Although Washington has not yet responded to the threat, Taiwan did.
A Hong Kong-based daily claims Taiwan to have declared of conducting military exercises near the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. The exercises are to be held with the sole aim of driving back the enemy nations if they were to attack Taiwan’s land or marine regions. Also, Taipei’s fighter jets and warships are to participate in the exercises to be conducted in the Taiwanese waters”.
Taiwan too has laid claims to the South China Sea like the other Southeast Asian nations. Albeit, China completely rebuffs the claims. Filipino and Vietnamese vessels in the region have been facing Chinese action as well. Even so, Taiwan appears to have provoked China with the announcement to conduct the Live Fire Drill within its maritime limits.
China had threatened the US and other nations over the issue of Taiwan’s independence. China has been warning – “Taiwan is an integral part of China and no country should establish diplomatic ties with it”. Some nations have withdrawn from cooperation with Taiwan owing to this. Nevertheless, the United States has only deepened its ties with the archipelago.
Since he assumed power, US President Donald Trump not only began to strengthen political ties with Taiwan but also established a de facto embassy there. The US also undertook massive manoeuvres to provide military assistance to Taiwan. Moreover, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has upheld the demand for an independent Taiwan and appealed for aid from the United States and other nations.