Independence means war: China warns Taiwan as Biden reaffirms US support

On Tuesday, Taiwan began military exercises after China stepped up its military activities and warplanes on the island nation.


After US President Joe Biden reaffirmed the United States support to Taiwan for the independent territory, China warned Taiwan that independence means war.

On Tuesday, Taiwan began military exercises after China stepped up its military activities and warplanes on the island nation. Taiwan wants to become a democratic state but China has long claimed Taiwan as their province, according to reports.

"We are seriously telling those Taiwan independence forces: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and Taiwan independence means war," Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told media persons on Thursday.

Wu also defended China's recent military activities, saying they were "necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security".

Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council replied that China should think carefully and not underestimate the island’s determination to defend itself.

Taiwan Defence Minister reported that China sent 13 military aircraft, including four J-10 fighter jets and eight H-6K bombers, into its airspace over the weekend. They were near the Taiwan controlled Pratas Islands at the top end of South China Sea. And Taiwanese air force jets took to the skies in a show of battle readiness.

On Thursday, the US responded. "We find that comment unfortunate," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters, in the first statement by the new administration on China-Taiwan relations.

Kirby added that the Pentagon "sees no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation."

Biden nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called China a strategic adversary. Speaking during her Senate confirmation hearing, she said the United States needs to support Taiwan as a democracy. 

First Published:Jan. 29, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

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