On June 12, China’s Defense Minister, Wei Fenghe, spoke at the Shangri-La Dialogue forum in Singapore.
During a confrontational address on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe accused the US of being a “bully” and “hijacking” countries in the region, saying his country will “fight to the very end” to prevent Taiwanese independence.
Wei warned the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s top defence conference, that Taiwan is first and foremost China’s Taiwan, and that China would “not hesitate” to destroy any attempt by the self-governed island to “secede.”
USA Will Attack Militarily
The address capped a weekend that began with US President Joe Biden saying the US would respond “militarily” if China attacked Taiwan.
Wei also chastised US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who had said a day earlier at the conference that China was engaging in coercive, aggressive, and dangerous tactics that threatened to “undermine security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”
Austin had also mentioned the United States’ regional coalition-building efforts and joint military drills with Japan, Australia, India, and Indonesia, but Wei dismissed this as “power politics” that China opposes.
“Fight Until The End”
However, Wei, who met with Austin in a bilateral meeting on Friday afternoon, reserved some of his toughest words for Washington’s attitude on Taiwan, the democratically run island that Beijing claims as its own despite never having ruled it.
On Friday, Austin stated that the US would continue to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, including arms deliveries, which China views as a breach of its sovereignty.
According to US policy, the US provides Taiwan with defensive weapons while remaining deliberately ambiguous on whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack — a policy that the White House insists is unchanged despite Biden’s recent comments that appeared to depart from the ambiguity. China’s claim that Taiwan is a part of China is acknowledged by Washington.