If the U.S. continues to support Taiwan’s independence it could end up in a military conflict with China warns China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, according to Reuters.

During a radio interview on Friday with the U.S. National Public Radio Gang emphasized that “the Taiwan issue is the biggest tinder-box between China and the United States”.

He added that “If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely (will) involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict.”

The interview was aired just hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the Ukraine crisis. 

The White House has so far not issued comments on the Chinese ambassador’s threatening statements.  

Chinese regime claims that democratically governed Taiwan is its own territory and has stepped up military pressure by sending fighter jets, in a historically high number of raids, into the Taiwanese air defense zone (ADIZ) in recent months.

The Chinese regime has insisted that there is “no room for discussion” on Taiwan and that anyone who supports Taiwanese independence is “playing with fire.”

Although the U.S. has no official ties with Taiwan and recognizes only one China, it is bound by the “Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,” to provide the island with the means to defend itself, making it its most important international ally and arms supplier. 

“We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability while also maintaining our own capacity to resist any use of force that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” a Pentagon spokesman said, Reuters reported.

The Biden administration has long maintained a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

But statements such as those issued by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in December underscore that the U.S. is pressuring the Chinese regime to prevent it from advancing on the island’s sovereignty. 

Blinken said, “I hope that China’s leaders think very carefully about this and about not precipitating a crisis that would have, I think, terrible consequences for lots of people, and one that’s in no one’s interest, starting with China.”

Meanwhile Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said her country “will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region.”

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