Taiwan's independence attempt will only mean war warned by China as the country sees Taiwan as its sovereign state.
The alert comes days after China escalated its military operations and flew warplanes close to the island. It also comes after the US new president, Joe Biden, reaffirmed his commitment to Taiwan and developed his role in Asia. The US has called China's recent "unfortunate" alert, adding that tensions do not lead to "anything like confrontation."
"We are seriously telling those independent forces in Taiwan: those who play with fire will burn themselves, and Taiwan independence means war," Chinese defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said at a Thursday press conference.
Taiwan was claimed as its territory by China, and they recorded several Chinese fighter jets and bombers entering its southwestern identification zone for air defense. The situation prompted Washington to urge Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan.
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China is now claiming that Taiwan's newly elected government pushes the island towards a formal declaration of independence. In contrast, Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, has repeatedly claimed that it is already an independent country called the Republic of China, as its official name.
"On Thursday, Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, said that Taiwan was "an inalienable part of China" and that the Chinese military activities in the Taiwan State were "a solemn response to the intervention of external powers and the 'Taiwan Independence' forces' provocations.
Asked about the air force's recent operations at a monthly news conference, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwan is an inseparable part of China sovereignty.
"The military activities that are carried out by the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Taiwan are necessary actions to address the current security situation and to safeguard the national sovereignty and security," he said.
Wu said that a "handful" of its people in Taiwan were seeking independence for the island.
Wu also stated that he wanted to alert the independent powers "that those who play with fire will set themselves on fire, and seeking "Taiwan independence" means nothing but war," according to the Chinese defense ministry overview of the monthly press conference.
Six Chinese aircraft, including four J-10 fighter jets, were confirmed by Taiwan's defense ministry to have flown into its air defense zone on Thursday, near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands at the end of the South China Sea.
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Taiwan independence to China's origin
After the conclusion of the Chinese civil war in 1949, China and Taiwan have had different governments. Beijing has long attempted to curb Taiwan's foreign activities, and both have struggled for control in the Pacific region.
Although only a handful of nations officially recognize Taiwan, its democratically elected government has close commercial and informal relations with several countries.
In recent years, tensions have risen, and Beijing has not ruled out the force to take back the island.
Like most other nations, the US has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but US law allows it to provide the island with the means to protect itself.
To wrap the issue up, Taiwan has criticized China's threats and coercion attempts, and Taiwan has vowed to protect the island's freedom and not be pressured.