Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Sunday accused the US of being a “bully” and “hijacking” countries around the region, and said Beijing would “fight to the very end” to stop Taiwanese independence.
He made the remarks while addressing the ongoing 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Asia’s premier defence summit.
On a question regarding Taiwan, Wei said that “Taiwan is part of China, and the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair”, reports Xinhua news agency.
“China will definitely realise its reunification.”
Those who pursue “Taiwan independence in an attempt to split China will definitely come to no good end, and foreign interference is doomed to failure”, he said.
“If anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we will not hesitate to fight, we will fight at all costs,” Wei added.
The Minister’s remarks, which came just weeks after US President Joe Biden said Washington would respond “militarily’ if China attacked Taiwan, capped a weekend of confrontational exchanges between the American and Chinese military chiefs, CNN reported.
Wei also called out US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who had told the Summit a day earlier that China was engaged in coercive, aggressive and dangerous actions that threatened to “undermine security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific”.
Austin had also talked about US coalition-building in the region and its joint military exercises with Japan, Australia, India and Indonesia, but Wei said this was a kind of “power politics” that China rejected.
“No one and no country should impose its will on others, or bully others under the guise of multilateralism. We notice Secretary Austin’s remarks on the US Indo-Pacific strategy.
“To us, the strategy is an attempt to build an exclusive, small group in the name of a free and open Indo-Pacific, to hijack countries in our region and target one specific country. It is a strategy to create conflict,” he added.