Singapore: If Taiwan declares independence, Beijing “does not hesitate to start the war,” China’s defense minister warned his US respondents at the pair’s first face-to-face meeting on Friday.

“If someone dares to split Taiwan from China, Chinese troops will not hesitate to start a war, regardless of cost,” Wu said in a meeting with Lloyd Austin.

According to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, the Chinese minister also vowed that Beijing “shatters the plot of” Taiwan independence “and firmly supports the unification of its homeland.”

The ministry emphasized that “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan … It will never be widespread to use Taiwan to contain China.”

Austin told China’s counterparts at a meeting in Singapore that Beijing “must refrain from further volatile actions against Taiwan,” the Pentagon said.

Taiwan, an island of autonomy and democracy, lives under the constant threat of Chinese aggression. Beijing regarded the island as its territory and vowed to force it to occupy it as needed.

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