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Fears China will spark World War 3 have heightened after it vows to "fight to the death" for control over Taiwan.
Taiwan has been an independent nation since breaking away from mainland communist rule in 1949 but Chinese jets have invaded its airspace 149 times in four days.
With the island just 112 miles off China’s east coast, Beijing looks dangerously set on reclaiming power as it flaunts its military strength overhead.
With Britain, America and Australia watching the situation closely, it might only be a matter of time before the West risks war by standing up for Taiwan, the Mirror reports.
In a jaw-dropping statement to the world, China's state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday: "Their fate is bound to be a catastrophe when they attempt to separate Taiwan from China.
"There is no force in the world whose will to ‘defend Taiwan’ is stronger than China's will to fight against secession and achieve reunification.
"No force dares or is willing to fight to the death against the world's second-largest economy, as well as a nuclear power, in order to prevent China's reunification."
The US naval manoeuvres in the Indo-Pacific, which includes the UK’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, have already been stepped up.
Taiwanese defence minister Chiu Kuo-cheng called the situation “the most severe in the 40 years since I’ve enlisted”.
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The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen has warned: “If Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace.”
She believed it would show “authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.”
China President Xi Jinping is under constant pressure to exert influence on his people through nationalism, fear and strategic gains.
In its own eyes taking over Taiwan would boost the regime’s strategic quest for global domination and prove to be a big victory over America.
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But yesterday US President Joe Biden and Mr Xi reiterated the Taiwan Agreement, which says US diplomatic relations with China in the future depend on Taiwan’s peaceful destiny.
Mr Chiu claimed China is already equipped for an invasion but will be fully prepared for it in three years.
He said: “It has the capacity now but it will not start a war easily.” There is a slim possibility of war in the near future but there is a much greater fear of war by 2025.
The UK’s carrier strike force is likely to be deployed, along with a number of attack submarines, linking to Britain’s allied forces.
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Its F-35B fighter jets and accompanying escort warships would be a huge asset in any maritime conflict.
If China did attack Taiwan, it could mean a very bloody war, even if only locally fought.
With a conventional war against China likely to cost tens of thousands of lives, China may gamble that the West will keep out of it.
But if it did try and stand up for Taiwan, nuclear weapons could come into play.
- HMS Queen Elizabeth
- World War 3
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