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China’s defense minister vows to curtail Taiwan’s independence amid rising tensions

The prospect of peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan is being increasingly “eroded” by Taiwanese separatists and foreign forces, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun said on Sunday, vowing to ensure independence never happens.

China considers democratically-ruled Taiwan its own territory, over strong objections from the government in Taipei, and last month staged war games around the island, angered by the May 20 inauguration of President Lai Ching-te, who Beijing calls “separatist”. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue conference in Singapore, Dong said Taiwan is the “core of core issues” for China, but Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party is gradually pursuing separatism and wants to erase Chinese identity.

“Those separatists recently made fanatical statements that show their betrayal of the Chinese nation and their ancestors. They will be targeted by the pillar of shame in history,” he said. “China remains committed to peaceful reunification, however this prospect is increasingly eroded by Taiwan independence separatists and foreign forces,” Dong added.

“We will take decisive action to curtail Taiwan’s independence and ensure that such a plot never succeeds.” China has repeatedly been angered by US support for Taiwan, even in the absence of formal diplomatic ties such as arms sales.

The government in Taipei says that Taiwan is already an independent country, the Republic of China. The Republican government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with Mao Zedong’s communists who established the People’s Republic of China.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)