China’s military has vowed to “resolutely smash” any separatist movement in Taiwan and warned that Washington’s increased meddling with the self-governing island has created a dangerous fracture in Sino-US relations.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “continues to strengthen military training and preparations and will resolutely smash any form of Taiwanese independence secession, along with attempts at outside interference, and will resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Tan Kefei told reporters on Tuesday in Beijing.
Tan made his comments in response to a US plan, revealed earlier this month, to provide $500 million in military aid to Taiwan. In addition, the Pentagon has reportedly dispatched as many as 200 troops to the island to provide military training.
Washington had already angered Beijing by selling weapons to Taiwan and sending political delegations to the breakaway Chinese province. China ramped up military drills in the Taiwan Strait and broke off defense and climate ties with the US last August, after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a controversial visit to the island. China considers Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory, a claim that the US government has long acknowledged, without endorsing.
Increasing defense ties between Washington and Taipei have “shaken the foundation of Sino-US relations and undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Tan said. “This is a very wrong and dangerous move.”
Tan called the Taiwan issue “the first insurmountable red line” in China’s relations with the US. He called for Washington to abide by its longstanding One China policy, which recognizes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legal government of China, including Taiwan.
“History must not be reversed,” the defense spokesman said. He added that Chinese leaders have warned Taiwanese authorities that any attempts to seek independence by relying on the US are a “dead end.”
Tan also responded to a statement earlier this month by the top-ranking US military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, who vowed that Washington would do everything in its power to prevent China and Russia from forming a strategic military alliance. China and Russia are cooperating more deeply on the basis of “non-alignment” and “non-confrontation,” Tan said. Those efforts will help safeguard “international fairness and justice” while maintaining security and stability, he added.
“If someone judges others by himself, sticks to the narrow and outdated Cold War alliance thinking, looks at China and evaluates China-Russia relations with concern, the premise and argument are wrong,” Tan said. “Naturally, they cannot come to a correct judgment.”
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