China has threatened war if Taiwan declares independence. “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war at any cost,” Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said in a call on Friday, according to spokesman Wu Qian with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Singapore.

Wei also stressed that Beijing would “smash any conspiracy for ‘Taiwan independence’ and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland.” Taiwan is “China’s Taiwan, using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail.”

According to the US Department of Defense, Austin told his Chinese counterpart that Beijing must “refrain from further destabilizing actions towards Taiwan.” Peace and stability in the region are extremely important. US President Joe Biden pledged military support to Taiwan in May in the event of a Chinese invasion, sparking outrage in Beijing.

The relationship between the two world powers has increasingly deteriorated in recent years. In particular, security issues are causing tension, affecting, among other things, Taiwan, the South China Sea and the Ukraine war.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland – if necessary with military force. The US is pursuing a line of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue.

In doing so, they assure Taiwan of support in developing its defense capabilities, but do not expressly promise to come to the island’s aid in the event of war.