China’s saber rattling on Taiwan
China’s defense minister said that Beijing wouldn’t “flinch from the cost” of defending its claims to Taiwan if the island takes a decisive step toward independence.
At a regional security forum in Singapore, the defense minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe, said that China sought peaceful unification with Taiwan. But he added that “no one should ever underestimate the resolve and capabilities of China’s armed forces” and that China would “resolutely smash any schemes for Taiwan independence.”
Wei’s statements came a day after meeting with the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd Austin. Afterward, Austin spoke to assembled leaders at the forum, and warned China against what he called “provocative and destabilizing” military activities near Taiwan.
Background: Officials and experts disagree over how imminent a military clash over Taiwan might be. But most believe that the danger is rising as China moves closer to amassing the equipment and skills needed to invade the island.
Details: Austin said the Biden administration did not support Taiwan independence and remained committed to a “one China” principle, which acknowledges — but does not endorse — Beijing’s position on Taiwan. Wei indicated that Chinese leaders did not believe such reassurances.