KEY POINTS

  • General Li Zuocheng said anyone violating China’s interests should expect a counter-attack
  • Foreign minister said the war in Ukraine was not the same as the situation between China and Taiwan
  • Both the comments come as U.S. Senator Rick Scott visited Taipei

China has issued warnings to the United States to not stir up tensions over Taiwan, saying any provocation "would be met with a firm counter-attack from the Chinese people."

A senior diplomat and military chief in China delivered separate warnings, which came as U.S. Senator Rick Scott visited Taipei on Thursday.

General Li Zuocheng, chief of the Central Military Commission’s joint staff department, said anyone violating China’s core interests should expect a counter-attack.

Beijing claims the Taiwan Strait is Chinese territorial water.

“China will not compromise on issues concerning its core interest. If someone wants to provoke China, then they would be met with a firm counter-attack from the Chinese people,” Li said in a video call with his U.S. counterpart, Mark Milley, on Thursday, according to South China Morning Post.

Li also called out the U.S. to end its military ties with Taiwan, which have further strained the China-U.S. relations, and resulted in instability in the Taiwan Strait.

Meanwhile, foreign minister Wang Yi said the war in Ukraine should not be compared to the situation between China and Taiwan. Wang rejected any such comparison during a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on the sidelines of the G20 in Bali.

Wang said the comparison between Taiwan and the war was a tactic by “some countries” to undermine China’s sovereignty.

Speaking about Scott's visit to Taipei, Chinese spokesman Wu Qian said it escalated tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

"The Chinese People's Liberation Army is ready for war at all times, and will take all necessary measures to resolutely thwart the interference of external forces and the secessionist attempts of 'Taiwan independence', and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said, according to Reuters.

These comments come as a military expert recently said China can defeat the U.S. in just a week in the event of a war over Taiwan. U.S. Air Force strategist Oriana Skylar Mastro made the comments after considering the multiple simulations carried out over the years.

Such a scenario would be "hardest for the U.S. to deal with," Mastro reportedly said, adding if a war begins, it would start with a "massive salvo of missiles" fired by China that would take out the only effective air base in the region.

"An attack on Kadena, on the Japanese island of Okinawa, could see the base disabled in hours with 60 percent of the aircraft lost," Skylar Mastro said.

While China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be part of the country again, Taiwan considers itself an independent country, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders.

China's military said Friday it had recently held joint combat readiness exercises, patrols and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan.

Taiwanese civilians in tactical gear and replica weapons take part in an urban warfare workshop in New Taipei City
Taiwanese civilians in tactical gear and replica weapons take part in an urban warfare workshop in New Taipei City AFP / Sam Yeh
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