Deteriorated relations between China and the US and the war in Ukraine have been the undisputed protagonists of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, which ended on Sunday after three days of intense debate. The Forum has become Asia’s premier security gathering, this year attracting 575 delegates from 40 countries.

China has again flagrantly threatened war in the conflict over Taiwan. In the dispute over Taiwanese independence, the Chinese defense minister, Wei Fenghe, has reiterated the firmness of his country with threats to the friends of the democratically governed island.

Those who support separation “they will not come to fruition” given that their country will fight “until the end fighting at any price”

As if the message wasn’t clear enough, Wei argued that it would be “a road to death” for those involved.

Secondly, Wei Fenghe stressed that “China will definitely achieve reunification”, emphasizing that the ideal would be to achieve it by peaceful means. However and despite these statements, the Chinese government refuses to hold talks with the Taiwanese leader, whom it considers a separatist.

For his part, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang asserted on Sunday that the island does not want to close the door to China and is willing to commit in a spirit of goodwill, but on equal terms and without political preconditions.

“As for China’s harassment with military aircraft, warships, unreasonable suppression and political actions, it is China that is being the most reckless,” he added.

Taiwan does not want to close the door to China. They are the ones who have used means to oppress and treat us irrationally.” Beijing has refused to speak to Tsai since she was first elected in 2016, calling her a separatist who has refused to accept that they are both part of “one China”.

Beijing imposes recognition of the 1992 Consensus as a condition for interacting with Taiwanese politicians. However, Tsai Ing-wenof the Democratic Progressive Party, does not recognize this agreement.

In this regard, the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, criticized China on Saturday for its steady increase in “provocative and destabilizing” military activities. The United States has supported the island, which has been democratic since the late 1980s. For this reason, in May, Joe Biden assured the Taiwanese of military assistance if China attacked them.

Beijing, in profile before the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The high point of the meeting was the intervention by videoconference of the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, who warned delegates that the invasion of his country threatened the rule-based order and put the entire world at risk of famine and food crisis.

Likewise he called on the international community to help Taiwan in the face of a possible Chinese onslaught.

Addressing the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Wei said that Beijing does not support the conflict, but that he does not believe that the imposition of sanctions will help to solve it either.

“What is the root of the crisis? Who is the brain? Who loses the most and who wins the most? Who promotes peace and who adds fuel to the fire? I think we all know the answers,” he continued, without clearly defining the Chinese position. “Those who put the bell on the tiger should take it off,” he said, invoking a widely used Chinese expression.

The Chinese minister recalled that they have never provided any material aid to Russia and are in favor of dialogue between the two countries. He also added that Beijing hopes that the talks between the US and NATO with Russia will lead to a ceasefire in Ukraine as soon as possible.

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