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China warns of 'war' if Taiwan moves towards 'independence'

July 24, 2019 17:27 IST

China on Wednesday warned of a "war" if there was a move towards Taiwan's "independence" as it accused the United States, which plans to go ahead with a potential $ 2.2 billion arms deal with the self-ruled territory, of adopting "unilateral policies" and undermining global strategic stability.

China views Taiwan as its inalienable part that has to be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

Releasing a white paper, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification of Taiwan with mainland China.

"However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end. If there are people who dare to try to split Taiwan from the country, China's military will be ready to go to war to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity," he said.

The US State Department recently approved a $ 2.2 billion defence deal with Taiwan.

 

The deal includes 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air missiles.

Beijing had vehemently protested the move, saying that the US arms sale infringes on China's sovereignty and national security and also seriously violates the basic norms of the international law and the international relations, as well as the One-China principle.

The 'One-China' policy states that Taiwan and Tibet are part of China's mainland.

China made the 'One-China' policy a prerequisite for countries to establish diplomatic ties with it.

Taipei had defended the deal, saying the US weapons will help strengthen Taiwan's self-defence in the face of a growing military threat from China.

Most of the countries, including the US, do not recognise Taiwan as an independent nation.

Though the US had switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, it remains the self-ruled island's most powerful unofficial ally and the biggest arms supplier.

Terming Taiwan "separatists" as the biggest threat to the peaceful reunification of the country, the white paper said, "China must be and will be reunited. China will never allow the secession of any part of its territory by anyone...The PLA will resolutely defeat anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China."

The document, which is the 10th white paper on national defence issued by the Chinese government since 1998, also accused the US of adopting "unilateral policies" and said the country "has provoked and intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defence expenditure, pushed for additional capacity in nuclear, outer space, cyber and missile defence, and undermined global strategic stability".

The white paper also lists aims for China's national defence which include to deter and resist aggression, safeguard national political security, crack down on proponents of separatist movements such as "Tibet independence" and the creation of "East Turkistan", safeguard China's maritime rights and interests and safeguard China's security interests in outer space, electromagnetic space and cyberspace.

K J M Varma
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