China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said on Sunday that a war with the United States would be a catastrophe for the world. He said this while giving a warning to Washington not to interfere in security disputes over Taiwan and the South China Sea.
China has been enraged by latest moves by US President Donald Trump’s organization to expand support for self-ruled Taiwan, including US Navy sailings through the Taiwan Strait that isolates the island from China.
Talking at the Shangri-La Dialog in Singapore, Asia’s premier defence summit, Wei said China would “fight to the end” if anybody tried to meddle in its relationship with Taiwan, which Beijing believes a holy region to be taken by might if needed.
Wei, the first Chinese defence minister to talk at the Shangri-La Dialog since 2011, said Beijing’s military activities in Asia were simply for self-preservation, yet it would not falter to counter an attack on its interests.
“China will not attack unless we are attacked,” Wei stated, advising that there would be terrible outcomes to any conflict between China and the United States.
“The two sides realise that conflict, or a war between them, would bring disaster to both countries and the world.”
The United States, like most nations, has no formal ties with Taiwan, but it is Taiwan’s strongest supporter and main source of weapons.
On Saturday, acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the Shangri-La meeting that the United States would never again “tiptoe” around Chinese conduct in Asia.
While Shanahan’s discourse was disapproving of China, his tone was frequently pacifying. Wei took a more aggressive strategy.
” No attempts to split China will succeed. Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure,” said Wei, clad in his uniform of a general in the People’s Liberation Army.
“If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs … The US is indivisible, and so is China. China must be, and will be, reunified.”
In May, Taiwan’s national security chief David Lee met White House national security adviser John Bolton, signifying the first meeting in over four decades between senior US and Taiwanese security officials.
Taiwan is preparing for presidential elections in January, and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has over and over blamed Beijing for trying to undermine Taiwan’s democracy and has pledged to defend the island and its freedoms.
Wei, in reference to the United States, additionally stated, “Some countries from outside the region come to the South China Sea to flex muscles in the name of freedom of navigation.”
This week will mark 30 years since a gory Chinese military crackdown on dissenters around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, refocusing study on China’s way to deal with security threats.
Taking inquiries from the floor, Wei defended the administration’s treatment of the Tiananmen “incident”, an uncommon official affirmation of the events of June 4, 1989; references to it are intensely censored in China.
“The government was decisive in stopping the turbulence,” Wei said of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
“Due to this, China has enjoyed stability, and if you visit China you can understand that part of history.”