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2 Jun, 2019 01:15

Chinese defense minister vows to ‘fight to the end, at all costs’ over trade & Taiwan

Chinese defense minister vows to ‘fight to the end, at all costs’ over trade & Taiwan

Beijing will fight to the end to protect its national interests both economically, amid the trade war with the US, and militarily, if any outside force dares to challenge the One China policy and split Taiwan from the mainland.

The People’s Liberation Army will have no choice but to protect Taiwan at all costs should the US or any other outside force dare to split the island from the mainland, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told delegates of the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit, a day after his American counterpart tried to muster an international coalition against China’s growing might in the Indo-Pacific.

"No attempts to split China will succeed," the defense chief said. "Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure."

China must be and will be reunited

Stressing that China will not yield a “single inch” of its “sacred land,” the minister said the PLA serves “entirely for self-defense” and will only strike back if attacked.

Some countries from outside the region come to the South China Sea to flex muscles in the name of freedom of navigation.

While the threat of a wider conflict indeed hangs over the Pacific, Wei stressed that China and Washington are fully aware that war would spell “disaster” for both. Beijing is firmly committed to regional peace and stability and will never pursue expansionist policies, he said.

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To alleviate the possibility of conflict, the US and Chinese militaries have agreed to engage in dialogue, while the door is always open for the US to discuss trade relations. However, if the US choses to fight – China will “fight to the end,” Wei said.

A similar message was personally delivered to acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan when the two held brief talks on Friday in Singapore on the sidelines of the summit. That, however, did not stop the Pentagon chief from blasting China as a regional threat during his speech on Saturday.

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