China warns of “drastic measures” if Taiwan moves towards independence – National

China will take “drastic measures” if Taiwan moves towards formal independence, a Beijing official warned on Wednesday, adding that provocations and outside interference from Taiwan could intensify next year.

China claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory and over the past two years has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure to assert its claim to sovereignty, fueling anger in Taipei and concern in Washington.

China was ready to do everything possible to seek peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but would act if independence red lines were crossed, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Bureau, said at a briefing. Press.

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“If Taiwan’s separatist forces seeking independence provoke, exert force or even cross a red line, we will have to take drastic action,” Ma said.

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In a statement Wednesday evening, the Taiwan Mainland Council urged Beijing to “seriously think about its work towards Taiwan and make a correct judgment on the situation.”

The Council reiterated its call for dialogue on an equal footing and declared that it maintained a policy of “non-provocation” to safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait and in the region.

Taiwan has become a key factor in the strained relations between Taiwan and the United States, the island’s largest international donor and arms supplier despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.

Taiwan claims to be an independent country and is committed to defending its freedom and democracy.

China regularly describes the island as the most sensitive issue in its relations with the United States.

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Ma said the provocation by pro-independence forces and “outside intervention” may become “more vivid and more intense” in the coming months.

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“Next year, the situation in the Taiwan Strait will become more complex and more serious,” he said.

Beijing has sent repeated air missions over the Taiwan Strait in recent months to put pressure on Taiwan. He said he would not give in to threats.

While the United States recognizes only one China, it is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” as to whether it would intervene militarily to protect itself. protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack. .

The defeated government of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists, who established the People’s Republic of China.

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