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International Relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping  

China’s military on Wednesday signalled that ties with India were improving, but warned the U.S. that it should not test Beijing’s one-China policy over Taiwan.

A white paper titled ‘China’s National Defence in the New Era’, released by the Chinese Defence Ministry, said Beijing was striving to promote security and stability along the India-China border. It has also created “favourable conditions” to peacefully resolve the Doklam military standoff — a reference to the military tensions between the two countries in the summer of 2017.

China has “taken effective measures to create favourable conditions for the peaceful resolution of the Donglang (Doklam) standoff”, the paper said.

But on the U.S., with which China is already engaged in a trade war, the white paper has gone ballistic, specially regarding the status of Taiwan, over which Beijing asserts its de jure sovereignty.

Beijing has called Taiwan “the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations”.

‘We will fight’

Addressing a press conference after the paper’s release, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the threat of Taiwan separatism is growing. He warned that attempts by those seeking Taiwan’s independence were futile. “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity.”

Tensions between China and the U.S. heightened earlier this month, after the State Department cleared $2.2 billion worth weapons sales, including 108 General Dynamics Corp. M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, apart from other weapons.

In turn, China has threatened to impose sanctions on U.S. companies engaged in arms trade with Taiwan.

The paper pointed out that the U.S. deployment of a missile defence system in South Korea had severely undermined the regional strategic balance.

China also stressed its resolve to counter supporters of separatism in Tibet as well as the Xinjiang region.

The paper accused the U.S. of adopting “unilateral policies”, adding that Washington “has provoked and intensified competition among major countries, significantly increased its defence expenditure, pushed for additional capacity in nuclear, outer space, cyber and missile defence, and undermined global strategic stability”.

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