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China warns US it will not hesitate to start war over Taiwan

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (File photo by AFP)

China’s defense minister has warned his US counterpart that Beijing will start a war without any hesitation if Taiwan declares independence.

Beijing will “not hesitate to start a war” if Washington continues to interfere in China's internal affairs, including the issue of Taiwan.

“If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost,” Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said during a meeting with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin on Friday.

He also said China would strongly resist any conspiracy against the Taiwan region and would defend its motherland at any cost.

According to the Chinese defense ministry, Wei Fenghe “stressed that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan ... using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail.”

Austin told his Chinese counterpart during the talks in Singapore that Beijing must “refrain from further destabilizing actions toward Taiwan,” the US Department of Defense said.

China considers Chinese Taipei as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland under the internationally-recognized “One China” policy. The sovereignty is subject to international recognition, including by the United States.

But, in violation of its stated policy and in an attempt to irritate Beijing, Washington has recently ramped up diplomatic contacts with the self-proclaimed government in Chinese Taipei. 

Washington is also the island’s largest weapons supplier.

Relations between China and the US have strained in recent years, with the world’s two largest economies clashing over a range of issues, Chinese Taipei included.

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