TAIPEI/BEIJING, March 1 (Reuters) – A delegation of former senior U.S. defence and security officials sent by President Joe Biden arrived in Taipei on Tuesday on a visit denounced by China and happening in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The visit, led by one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, comes at a time when Taiwan has stepped up its alert level, wary of China taking advantage of a distracted West to move against it.
China describes Taiwan as the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States, and any high-level interactions upset Beijing.
“The will of the Chinese people to defend our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is immovable. Whoever United States sends to show support for Taiwan is bound to fail,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said of the visit.
Wang went further on Tuesday, using even stronger terms.
“If United States is trying to threaten and pressure China with this then we need to tell them that in the face of the Great Wall of steel forged by 1.4 billion Chinese people, any military deterrence is but scrap metal,” he said.
“The gimmick of having a U.S. warship sail through the Taiwan Strait should be left to those who foolishly believe in hegemony.” (Supremacy)
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