China's defense minister warns of forceful action to prevent Taiwan independence

China's defense minister warns of forceful action to prevent Taiwan independence

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President Joe Biden's administration and China are increasing communication to reduce friction between the nuclear-armed rivals, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Beijing and Shanghai last month.

The main focus has been on restarting military-to-military talks, which are seen as crucial to preventing the contentious dispute from spiralling out of control.

China ended military communications with the United States in 2022 in response to a visit by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing were further fueled by a number of issues, including an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down in U.S. airspace, a meeting between Taiwan’s then-President Tsai Ing-wen and Pelosi’s successor Kevin McCarthy, and U.S. military aid to Taipei.

China is also angered by America's growing defense ties in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly with the Philippines, and its regular deployment of warships and fighter jets in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

Beijing sees this as part of a decades-long effort by the US to control it.

Following a summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Biden last November, the two sides agreed to resume high-level military talks, including discussions on Taiwan, Japan and military operations in the South China Sea.

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