Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming accused acting US defence secretary Patrick Shanahan of sending the wrong message to Taiwanese separatists. Photo: Minnie ChanLieutenant General Shao Yuanming accused acting US defence secretary Patrick Shanahan of sending the wrong message to Taiwanese separatists. Photo: Minnie Chan
A senior Chinese military officer has accused the United States’ top defence official of using sensitive issues like Taiwan and the South China Sea to promote instability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking on Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department, said that acting US defence secretary Patrick Shanahan, in an earlier speech at the same event, had sent a “terribly wrong” message to independence-leaning forces on the self-ruled island.
“The one-China principle is the political foundation of Sino-US relations and the common consensus in the international community,” Shao told a press conference.
“[But] recent words and deeds released by the US side have sent terribly wrong signals to Taiwan’s independence forces, which could undermine regional peace and stability.”
Any efforts to promote independence for Taiwan would face staunch opposition, he said.
“China must be unified and the unification of China is inevitable … [it is] the collective will of the Chinese people. If anyone wants to separate Taiwan from the country, the Chinese military will resolutely defend the unity of our motherland at all costs.”