The mishandling of the Taiwan issue by Washington may have a “ruinous” effect on bilateral relations with Beijing, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe told his US counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on Wednesday.
During the 45-minute-long phone call, which was initiated by the American side, Wei reiterated Beijing’s stance that Taiwan was an “inalienable part of China,” insisting that “it was a fact and status quo that no one could change.”
The Chinese armed forces were eager to do everything to protect the country’s territorial integrity, he added, according to a statement by the Chinese Defense Ministry.
Wei also warned Austin that a US mishandling of the Taiwan issue “would have a ruinous impact on bilateral relations.”
Despite recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate authority in China since 1979, Washington maintains unofficial ties with the self-governed island of Taiwan, actively backing its push for independence and supplying it with weapons.