China will fight to end Taiwan independence, says defence minister

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China will fight to end Taiwan independence, says defence minister

China will fight to the end of the world to stop Taiwan from declaring independence, the country s defence minister said in a speech to his counterparts from other countries, including the United States.

We will fight at all cost and we will fight to the end. This is the only choice for China, Wei Fenghe told the Shangri-La Dialogue Security Summit in Singapore, where he called Taiwan first and foremost China's Taiwan Those who pursue Taiwanese independence in an attempt to split China will come to no good end. No one should underestimate the resolve and ability of the Chinese Armed Forces to safeguard its territorial integrity. His speech came a day after the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, accused China of provocative, destabilising military activity close to the island.

Beijing views Taiwan as a part of its territory, awaiting reunification by force if necessary. There have been increasing US-China tensions over the island due to a growing number of Chinese aerial incursions into Taiwan's air defence zone.

Taiwan's foreign ministry denounced China's claims of sovereignty as absurd and thanked the US for its support. The people of Taiwan will not succumb to threats of force from the Chinese government, said Joanne Ou, ministry spokesperson.

Wei said on Sunday that it is up to the United States to improve the bilateral relationship, saying that the ties were at a critical juncture.

We ask the US side to stop smearing and containing China. The bilateral relationship cannot improve unless the US side can do that, Wei, dressed in the uniform of a general in the People's Liberation Army, told delegates.