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China Warns of War in Case of Move toward Taiwan Independence

Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian speaks during a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
China Warns of War in Case of Move toward Taiwan Independence
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China warned on Wednesday that it is ready for war if Taiwan made any move toward independence. China considers the island a rebel Chinese province.

Defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian spoke to reporters following the release of a high-level Chinese military planning report. Wu said that China would make its greatest effort for peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

“However, we must firmly point out that seeking Taiwan independence is a dead end,” he said.

China also denounced the United States’ decision to sell arms to the government of the island. It accused the United States of attempting to destroy international balance.

The U.S. Defense Department said this month that State Department officials had approved the sale of weapons requested by Taiwan. The weapons include tanks and missiles estimated to be worth $2.2 billion. The United States is Taiwan’s main arms supplier.

China said it would order sanctions on U.S. companies involved in any such deals.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council later said China's “behavior ... seriously violated the peace principle in international laws and relations…”

America has no official ties with Taiwan. However, a 1979 U.S. law requires the U.S. to defend the country.

Reporters at the gathering asked about China’s military plan to deal with the growing protests in Hong Kong. Large crowds have been protesting an extradition proposal between Hong Kong and China. Wu answered that Beijing had the right to send troops into Hong Kong to stop the protests, if it is requested by Hong Kong’s government.

Wu also commented on reports of a secret agreement with Cambodia to permit Chinese military use of a Cambodian naval base on the Gulf of Thailand. He said the reports were false.

“China and Cambodia have in the past carried out positive exchanges and cooperation on military exercises, training and other activities," he said.

“This kind of cooperation does not target any third party,” he added

I’m Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in this Story

sanctions – n. an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country, by not allowing economic aid for that country, etc

principle - n. a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions

extradition – n. to send (a person who has been accused of a crime) to another state or country for trial