‘Independence means war,’  China threatens Taiwan as US pledges support

DHARAMSALA, 29 Jan: After stepping up its military activities and sending warplanes in Taiwan’s air defence zone, China has now warned Taiwan that seeking independence from China ‘means war’.

“We are seriously telling those Taiwan independence forces: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and Taiwan independence means war,” media reports quoted the Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian as saying at a monthly news briefing on Thursday.

The spokesperson has further justified Beijing’s spike in military activities in Taiwan strait by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army calling them “necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security.”

“They are a solemn response to external interference and provocations by ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry has stated that it deployed fighters and air defence systems, as well as broadcasting warning messages over the radio as the Chinese air force flew 15 military aircraft into Taiwan both on Saturday on Sunday.

The development came after the US President Joe Biden made it clear that his new administration will stand its ground against China by declaring to stand with Southeast Asian claimants in the face of China’s pressure and by reaffirming its commitment to supporting Taiwan’s defence capability.

Additionally, the US has called on China over the weekend to engage in dialogue with Taiwan and “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan.”

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party. Beijing considers Taiwan as an errant province and never shied away from using force to bring it under its control.

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