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Saturday, 28 April 2018

China renews military threat against Taiwan as independence push grows

China renews military threat against Taiwan as independence push growsChina has renewed its threat of using military force against Taiwan to prevent it declaring full independence, after Beijing conducted live fire drills and flew fighter planes close to the island this week. Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said that Beijing would not shy away from unifying the mainland and the island of Taiwan “through force”. The threat, which came as China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier was being prepared for its maiden voyage, was the latest escalation of tensions between China and self-governing Taiwan. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province it will eventually reincorporate into China, having separated from it in 1949 during the Chinese civil war. “We will try our best for the prospect of peaceful reunification, but I have to point out that to engage in 'Taiwan independence' is a dead end, and there is no way to win an armed confrontation,” Mr Wu said.  "If the secession efforts grow indefinitely, the PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] has no choice but to unify Taiwan through force.” Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, speaks after he reviewed the Chinese fleet in the South China Sea Credit: Li Gang/Xinhua via AP Beijing has been showcasing its military muscle over the past year near democratic Taiwan, which has its own military and President, Tsai Ing-wen. Earlier this month Chinese helicopters conducted live fire drills off China’s southeast coast, and Taiwan said that two Chinese bombers circled the island. Yesterday more Chinese bombers circled Taiwan, according to Chinese state media, and on Tuesday Taiwan announced that in June its forces will conduct live fire drills simulating an invasion from China. President Tsai took office in 2016, and the Chinese government suspects she will attempt to formally declare Taiwanese independence, a red line for Beijing. Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen inspected navy exercises at Suao naval station, northeast of Taiwan Credit: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying One particularly strong show of Chinese military force earlier this month in the South China Sea saw China’s President Xi Jinping donning army fatigues to preside over drills involving 48 ships and 76 aircraft vehicles. Beijing was also angered by Donald Trump, the US president, signing a deal with Taiwan in March that would allow US ships to enter Taiwanese waters. On Tuesday the US Air Force flew bombers in the vicinity of the South China Sea, saying the move was to “maintain the readiness of US forces” there. Chinese government-controlled newspaper Global Times said: “The US cannot prevent the mainland exerting military pressure on Taiwan.” Mr Wu added: "The Taiwan separatists are becoming more arrogant recently. The Chinese mainland has exercised the utmost sincerity and restraint, but its patience is not limitless."




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