Sabres Rattling in the South China Sea

The Chinese are making it very clear that the USA will not be permitted to interfere the way it has with Ukraine in the event the Taiwanese irredentists declare independence from China.

Beijing will “not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares independence, China’s defence minister warned his US counterpart on Friday (Jun 10), the latest salvo between the superpowers over the island. The warning came as Wei Fenghe held his first face-to-face meeting with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.

US-China tensions have been soaring over democratic, self-ruled Taiwan, which lives under constant threat of invasion by China. Beijing views the island as its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.

Wei warned Austin that “if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost”, defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian quoted the minister as saying during the meeting.

The Chinese minister vowed that Beijing would “smash to smithereens any ‘Taiwan independence’ plot and resolutely uphold the unification of the motherland”, according to the Chinese defence ministry. He “stressed that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan … Using Taiwan to contain China will never prevail”, the ministry said.

At this point, it wouldn’t be a surprise if some sort of peaceful settlement were arranged before the end of the year, because the US and Europe are increasingly desperate to convince China to continue operating within the neoliberal economic order. And in the light of the complete failure of the Russian sanctions, the only card they have to play is offering to accept reunification as a fait accompli.