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06 May


Chinese Defense Minister: If the US wants to fight, we will fight to the end

During the “Shangri-La” dialogue, Wei Fenghe appealed to “external forces” destabilizing the situation in Taiwan

Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ China’s top defence official issued a stern warning to "external forces" that foster the idea of independence for Taiwan, saying at Asia’s primary security summit in Singapore on Sunday that Beijing will not cede a “single inch” of its territory. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

Defence Minister Wei Fenghe’s comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue came amid rising tensions between China and the United States, fuelled by a near year-long trade war and disputes over technology, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

"The People’s Liberation Army vows not to yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land," Wei said.

"Nor will it seize anything from others. The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble, but it is not afraid to face troubles. Should anyone risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all invading enemies".

Wei did not make any specific references to the US, but did name Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in his warning to those hoping for independence for the self-ruled island.

"I have a message for the DPP authorities and external forces. First, no attempt to split China shall succeed. Second, foreign intervention in the Taiwan question is doomed to fail".

This year is the first time Wei has attended the Shangri-La Dialogue and his comments about Taiwan came at a time of poor US-China relations. Beijing regards the issue as a red line and has expressed its strong disapproval of Washington’s moves to strengthen links with Taipei, especially as the island is preparing for a presidential election next year.

Both China and the US have sought to use the annual three-day security forum, which began on Friday, to win support from countries in the region as well as preventing their rivalry on trade from spilling over into a military conflict.

"As for the recent trade friction started by the US, if the US wants to talk, we will keep the door open. If they want a fight, we will fight until the end," Wei said