• July 14, 2024, 1:30 am
  • বাংলা বাংলা English English

China defence chief says Beijing ready to ‘forcefully’ stop Taiwan independence

News Desk
News Desk
Update: Thursday, July 11, 2024

Chinese Defence Minister Dong Jun
warned Sunday his military is ready to “forcefully” stop Taiwan independence
but called for greater exchanges with the United States.

The remarks at an annual security forum in Singapore followed the first
substantive face-to-face talks in 18 months between the two countries’
defence chiefs.

“We have always been open to exchanges and cooperation, but this requires
both sides to meet each other halfway,” Dong told the Shangri-La Dialogue
where he met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.

“We believe that we need more exchanges precisely because there are
differences between our two militaries.”

Dong and Austin met for over an hour at the luxury hotel hosting the forum,
which is attended by defence officials from around the world and in recent
years has been seen as a barometer of US-China relations.

After the meeting, Austin said that telephone conversations between US and
Chinese military commanders would resume “in the coming months”, while
Beijing hailed the “stabilising” security relations between the countries.

This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue comes a week after China held military drills
around self-ruled Taiwan and warned of war over the US-backed island
following the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, who Beijing has
described as a “dangerous separatist”.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has always been an indestructible and
powerful force in defence of the unification of the motherland, and it will
act resolutely and forcefully at all times to curb the independence of Taiwan
and to ensure that it never succeeds in its attempts,” Dong told the forum on
Sunday.

“Whoever dares to split Taiwan from China will be crushed to pieces and
suffer his own destruction.”

On the South China Sea, which China claims almost entirely and where it has
been involved in confrontations with Philippine vessels, Dong warned of
“limits” to Beijing’s restraint.

“China has maintained sufficient restraint in the face of rights
infringements and provocation, but there are limits to this,” Dong said.

– Flashpoint disputes –

President Joe Biden’s administration and China have been stepping up
communication to ease friction between the nuclear-armed rivals, with
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Beijing and Shanghai last month.

A key focus has been the resumption of military-to-military dialogue, which
is seen as critical to preventing flashpoint disputes from spinning out of
control.

China scrapped military communications with the United States in 2022 in
response to then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing were further stoked by issues
including an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over US airspace,
a

meeting between Taiwan’s then-president Tsai Ing-wen and Pelosi’s successor
Kevin McCarthy and American military aid for Taipei.

China is also furious over the United States’ deepening defence ties in the
Asia-Pacific, particularly with the Philippines, and its regular deployment
of warships and fighter jets in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.

Beijing views this as part of a decades-long US effort to contain it.

The two sides agreed after a summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and
Biden last November to restart high-level military talks, including over
military operations near Taiwan, Japan and in the South China Sea.


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