During a meeting between top American and Chinese military officials, China’s defense minister threatened all-out war while discussing Taiwan’s sovereignty. The threats were issued during the first face-to-face meeting of U.S. Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin with General Wei Fenghe, who is the Chinese Defense Minister, on Friday afternoon.
The Chinese military “will certainly not hesitate to begin a war without regard to the costs” if anyone dares to tear Taiwan away from China, according to Chinese defense spokesman Wu Qian, who was quoting General Wei.
The tough talk continued, with the Chinese defense minister warning that China would “crush to smithereens” any effort to preserve Taiwan’s sovereignty. Taiwan would be absorbed into China and made part of the motherland, as reported by the ministry.
“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan,” General Wei emphasized during the 30-minute meeting at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “Using Taiwan to restrain China will never succeed.”
“It was a good start to resume normal military communication, and both sides agreed to continue talking,” Qian said of the meeting.
Austin stated that “there has been a steady rise in destabilizing military activity close to Taiwan.”
Austin requested China to “refrain from any more destabilizing actions toward Taiwan.”
“We will continue to focus on maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Austin stated. “But China’s actions risk undermining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”
“The invasion of a peaceful neighbor, for example, by a country with which we are not at war has galvanized the globe and reminded everyone of the risks of undermining a global order based on norms and respect.”
“The Indo-Pacific is a region of great strategic importance,” he added. “Rules-based global order is as important in the Indo-Pacific as it is in Europe.”
“When oppressors violate the norms that protect us all, it is what happens when big nations decide that their expansionist appetites take precedence over the rights of their neighbors. It’s also a portend of a potential world of mayhem and upheaval that nobody wants to live in,” Austin added.
The Pentagon released a comment regarding the meeting.
“Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of regulating competition responsibly and maintaining open lines of communication,” according to the White House’s statement. “The Secretary stressed the value of China’s People’s Liberation Army participating in meaningful discussion on enhancing crisis communication and lowering strategic risk.”
Last month, President Joe Biden abandoned his policy of ambiguity over whether the United States would defend Taiwan against China’s aggression.