Daily US Times: China has warned Taiwan that any attempt to seek independence “means war” as the tension between the two have been rising.
The warning comes days after China stepped up its military activities and flew warplanes near Taiwan.
It also comes days after Joe Biden, the new US president, reaffirmed his commitment to Taiwan, and set out his stance in Asia.
The United States has called China’s latest warning “unfortunate”, adding that tensions did not need to lead to “anything like confrontation”.
China sees democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province of its own, but Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign country, with its own constitution, military, and elected leaders.
Analysts say China is becoming increasingly concerned that Taiwan’s government is moving the island towards a formal declaration of independence and it wants to warn President Tsai Ing-wen against taking steps in that direction.
But President Tsai has repeatedly said that Taiwan is already a independent state, making any formal declaration unnecessary.
Chinese defence ministry spokesman said Wu Qian on Thursday, defended the recent military activities near Taiwan, saying they were “necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security”.
“We warn those ‘Taiwan independence’ elements – those who play with fire will burn themselves, and Taiwan independence means war,” he added.
The US responded later on Thursday as Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters said: “We find that comment unfortunate.”