Mishandling of the Taiwan issue by the US will be detrimental to its ties with Beijing, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said.
Washington’s mishandling of the Taiwan issue may have a “ruinous” effect on bilateral relations with Beijing, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe told his US counterpart Lloyd Austin on Wednesday.
During the 45-minute phone call, initiated by the US side, Wei reiterated Beijing’s position that Taiwan was a “Inalienable part of China” insisting that “It was a fact and a status quo that no one could change.”
The Chinese military was eager to do everything possible to protect the country’s territorial integrity, he added, according to a statement from the Chinese Defense Ministry.
Wei also warned Austin that US mishandling of the Taiwan issue “It would have a ruinous impact on bilateral relations.”
Despite recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate authority in China since 1979, Washington maintains unofficial ties with the autonomous island of Taiwan, actively backing its drive for independence and supplying it with weapons.
Last week, the Chinese military held major exercises across the Taiwan Strait amid a high-profile delegation of US senators visiting Taipei.
The Russian military operation in Ukraine was also among the topics discussed, with Wei insisting that the United States should not use the crisis. “smear and pressure China”.
In March, US President Joe Biden told Chinese leader Xi Jinping that he would “Impact” whether Beijing provided material support to Moscow during the conflict.
China has so far been reluctant to condemn the Russian military operation or impose sanctions on Moscow, maintaining a neutral position.
Some US military analysts have also insisted that Beijing has been closely watching events in Ukraine and learning lessons in preparation for its own attack on Taiwan.
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The Chinese Defense Minister said that Beijing wanted to establish a “healthy and stable relationship” with Washington, which would see the military of the two countries strengthening their dialogue and engaging in pragmatic cooperation. However, the Americans “China’s determination and ability should not be underestimated” to protect their interests, Wei added.
It was the first conversation between the two ministers since Austin took over the Pentagon more than a year ago.