China war warning: Beijing ‘reserves the option’ of military action to retake Taiwan
Taiwan is ‘ready for any aggression’ says Tsai Ing-Wen
China has announced the country “reserves the option” to use military force against Taiwan as tensions in the South China Sea threaten to boil over into all-out war. The Asian superpower claims sovereignty over its island neighbour under its “One China” policy which demands there can be only one sovereign state recognised as China. Now China’s Communist Party has threatened to take Taiwan by force if diplomatic efforts do not succeed.
Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian said at a press briefing that Beijing was not ruling out a military strike on Taiwan – a democracy of around 24 million people.
She said: “We make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures
“Our position has been consistent and will not change.”
Meanwhile, the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen has stated the island nation is ready to beat back any aggression.
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Ms Ing-wen said: “Last year our radar stations detected incursions by nearly two thousand Chinese military aircraft and over 400 military vessels.
“We drove them away in a timely manner and secured out maritime and air space.”
Taiwan’s Presiden has repeatedly claimed the island is already an independent country.
Analysts have said China’s recent moves could be an early test to US President Joe Biden.
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The Chinese warplane incursions coincided with a US carrier battle group entering the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”.
China has claimed a large part of the South China Sea as its own which has triggered territorial disputes.
The US, along with several countries which neighbour the South China Sea, have disputed Beijing’s claim over the waters.
China has previously said it will take action to “safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interest” in the disputed waters.
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On Saturday, days after Mr Biden was sworn in, the US State Department restated its “rock-solid” commitment to helping Taiwan defend its island.
A statement from Ned Price, Department Spokesperson, read: “We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defence capability.
“Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”
He added how the US is concerned about the “pattern of ongoing People’s Republic of China attempts to intimidate its neighbours, including Taiwan”.
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