Jon Rogers13:48 ET,
WORLD War 3 fears have risen again after China vowed it will invade Taiwan if it seeks independence as the US Navy flexes its military muscle.
Beijing warned Taiwan today that any move toward gaining independence would mean “war”.
Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a regular press briefing that Taiwan’s unification with the mainland is a “historical inevitability.”
The spokesman added any attempt to declare independence would be a “dead-end road” resulting in “war”.
“As Taiwan decision makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared,” Wu told CNN in Taipei.”When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real.”
“Stopping ‘Taiwan independence’ is the necessary condition for maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations,” said Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. “Joseph Wu has repeatedly and arrogantly provoked ‘Taiwan independence’ … we will take all necessary measures to severely punish such ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards for life in accordance with the law.”
The comments come after US Senator Tammy Duckworth said earlier this month the US “won’t abandon Taiwan” following a trip to Taipei to confirm a shipment of 750,000 Covid vaccine doses.
The trip by Duckworth, along with Senator Chris Coons and Senator Dan Sullivan, was part of US efforts to strengthen ties with Taiwan.
Beijing condemned the visit at the time.
Relations between Taiwan and China have been strained after the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hit back at the ‘One China’ policy pursued by Beijing, which does not recognise Taiwanese independence.
Under the ‘One China’ policy Taiwan is viewed as a breakaway province of the country rather than a separate country with its own government.
The One China policy is a key cornerstone of Sino-US diplomatic relations and was recognised by former president Donald Trump.
Washington, however, has always maintained a “robust unofficial” relationship with Taiwan and has continued to sell arms to the island.
Taiwanese officials have also proposed moves that have angered Beijing.
Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to Tsai, proposed in April changing the country’s name to “Republic of Taiwan” from “Republic of China,” Taiwan News reported.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, vowed to retaliate if Taiwan adopted a new name.
Ren said on Thursday Taiwan is an “inalienable part of China,” and that China is “firmly opposed to any form of official exchanges or military contacts between the United States and Taiwan.”
Ren added the US “cannot stop Chinese advancement” or economic rise, and that the US should abide by the one-China principle and three US-China joint communiqués.
The growing hostility comes after China put on a show of military strength in Taiwan’s airspace in April.
The mission saw an impressive squadron of 14 J-16 and four J-10 fighter jets, accompanied by four H-6K bombers.
The deadly troop of aircraft, that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, were joined by two anti-submarine aircraft and an early warning aircraft, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.
Taiwanese combat aircrafts were launched to intercept and deter the Chinese jets, which followed a route near to the Pratas Islands, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them.