Pentagon spokesman dismisses China’s warning on Taiwan as ‘unfortunate’
- The US Defence Department under the Biden administration ‘sees no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation’, spokesman says
- Comment is a response to China’s defence ministry saying that ‘Taiwan independence means war’
The Pentagon “sees no reason why tensions over Taiwan need to lead to anything like confrontation,” Kirby said. “The United States military remains ready in all respects to meet our security commitments in the region.”
Kirby was responding to Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian’s comment earlier on Thursday that “Taiwan independence means war” and that China’s military “will take all necessary measures to resolutely thwart any form of Taiwan independence separatist attempts”.
That ambiguity causes tension with Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be eventually reunited with the mainland, whenever the US supplies arms to the island’s military or engages in direct contact with Taiwanese government officials.
The messages the two spokesmen sent underscore the continuation of bilateral hostilities over Taiwan that escalated throughout the tenure of former president Donald Trump’s administration.
Those tensions crested when the State Department announced on January 7, less than two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration as US president, that then-US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft planned to travel to Taiwan.