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Taiwan responds to China's threat to 'set off war' after US State Dept official's visit irks Beijing

News Agencies | Updated on: 21 September 2020, 15:27 IST

Taiwan on Monday responded to China's threat to "set off war", in a cheeky manner following the visit of a US State Department official, which apparently irked Beijing.

"How do you deal with a neighbor sending you death threats just for having dinner with friends visiting from afar? Asking for a friend," said Taiwan Presidential Office Spokesperson.

This statement followed the threat issued by the Chinese mouthpiece Global Times after US Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach had visited the nation.

"Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, who pledged deeper ties with the US at a dinner for a visiting senior State Department official, is clearly playing with fire. If any act of her provocation violates the Anti-Secession Law of China, a war will be set off and Tsai will be wiped out," wrote Global Times.

During Krach's visit, President Tsai Ing-wen had pledged deeper ties with the US.

According to an official statement, Taiwan President has committed collaboration with the US to strengthen ties.

"I hope that Taiwan and the United States continue to work together to promote peace, stability, prosperity and development in the Indo-Pacific, positively impacting the region," said the President.

She had said, "Taiwan is committed to taking key steps, and engaging in exchanges of opinion to bring about a new milestone in the deepening of Taiwan-US economic cooperation."

During the visit to Taiwan, Krach and the delegation to Taiwan attended the memorial service for late President Lee Teng-hui. The visit of the senior-most US official has angered China.

In a belligerent show of force by Beijing, scores of Chinese jets had crossed the midline of Taiwan strait during the US official's visit. Taiwan's air force scrambled jets and deployed air defense missile system to monitor China's activities.

"PLA's military intimidation is deplorable and has caused resentment among people in Taiwan. We call on PRC to cherish peace and maintain regional stability," said Taiwan Ministry of Defence in a tweet after Friday's incident.

Earlier this month, Taiwan warned China not to "cross the line" saying that it wants peace but will defend its people.

"Don't cross the line. China again flew fighter jets into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone today. Make no mistake, Taiwan wants peace but we will defend our people," Vice President of Taiwan, Lai Ching-Te said in a tweet.

During US Health Secretary Alex Azar's historic visit to Taiwan earlier, China deployed fighter jets that briefly crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, South China Morning Post had reported citing Taiwan's Defence Ministry. The ministry had said it had tracked the PLA fighters with its land-based anti-aircraft missiles and had "strongly driven them out".


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First published: 21 September 2020, 15:27 IST