Taiwan minister: China’s war is a disaster no matter what the outcome

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Taiwan’s defense minister says a conflict with China, which threatens to invade the island, would be a disaster for all parties regardless of the outcome

China has largely backed Russia in the invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that echoes Beijing’s approach to Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy it claims as Chinese territory to be annexed by force. if necessary.

“Nobody wants war,” Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told reporters. “You really have to think about it thoroughly.”

“If you really went to war, it would be disastrous for everyone,” Chiu said. Taiwan’s defense establishment “watches and listens but we keep our mouths shut. We follow developments and prepare but we don’t discuss or debate openly.”

At the annual meetings of China’s rubber stamp legislature, National People’s Congress and its advisory body this week in Beijing, delegates blamed foreign influence and separatism in Taiwan while increasing legal power and financial support from China to counter support from Taiwan.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army delegation to the NPC said, “Separatist activities and collusion with outside forces are at the root of the current tension and unrest in the Strait of Taiwan.

Colonel Wu Qian blamed Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party for independence, adding that “the more waves the United States and Japan make on the Taiwan issue, the more severe measures we will take to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Wu also defended the defense budget increase, saying China has “maintained reasonable and steady growth to meet complex security challenges and shoulder the responsibility of China as a great country.”

Separately, a member of the advisory body of China’s ceremonial legislature proposed strengthening a 2005 secession law setting out grounds for an attack on Taiwan. Zhang Liangqi said new legislation was needed to target those who promote Taiwan’s formal and permanent independence from China, from which it broke away amid civil war in 1949.

In what it calls a warning to Taiwan independence supporters and their foreign allies, China has held threatening drills and flown military jets near the island’s airspace, including on 24 February, the day Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

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