War fears surge as China vows to ‘crush’ US troops in Taiwan after Afghan chaos

CHINA has threatened to “crush” any US troops sent to Taiwan, following America’s disastrous pull-out from Afghanistan which left the Taliban in power.

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The threat was made by Global Times, a newspaper aligned with China’s ruling communist party. It was made in response to incorrect claims by John Cornyn, a Republican senator, that the US already has 30,000 soldiers based on the island.

Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and has repeatedly threatened force to seize it from the Taiwanese government.

Global Times said Senator Cornyn’s comments, if true, would be “equivalent to a military invasion and occupation of the Taiwan Province of China.

It said: “It is an act of declaring war on the People’s Republic of China.”

They warned Chinese forces would “destroy and expel US troops in Taiwan by any means and realize reunification by force”.

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China has threatened to “crush” US forces in Taiwan (Image: GETTY)

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The Chinese Communist Party is celebrating its centenary (Image: GETTY)

On Tuesday the Chinese military held a live-fire drill off the coast of Taiwan, involving warships and fighter planes.

Shi Yi, a spokesman for the Chinese army, described it as a “necessary activity in response to the recent situation in the Taiwan Strait”.

Taiwan, formally the Republic of China, is ruled by the losing nationalist faction from the 1927-49 Chinese civil war.

Forced off the Chinese mainland, nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan which later evolved into a full democracy.

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“Taiwan’s only option is to make ourselves stronger” (Image: GETTY)

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to seize all major cities, has sparked speculation about whether America would defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack.

Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese president, addressed these rumours directly on Facebook.

She said: “Recent changes in the situation in Afghanistan have led to much discussion in Taiwan.

“I want to tell everyone that Taiwan’s only option is to make ourselves stronger, more united and more resolute in our determination to protect ourselves.

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Taiwan is an advanced democracy (Image: GETTY)

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Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15 (Image: GETTY)

“It’s not an option for us to do nothing on our own and just to rely on other people’s protection.”

The Taliban seized Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on August 15.

American and British troops remain at the airport, helping to evacuate western nationals and their Afghan allies.

Ashraf Ghani, the official Afghan president, fled to the United Arab Emirates.

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Articles in the Global Times have repeatedly suggested the US will abandon Taiwan if it comes to war

One said: “From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the [Taiwan] Straits, the island’s defence will collapse in hours and the U.S. military won’t come to help.”

Another added: “This defeat of US is a clearer demonstration of US impotence than the Vietnam War – the US is indeed like a ’paper tiger.’

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Afghans attempting to flee the Taliban have congregated at Kabul airport (Image: GETTY)

“From another perspective, the US’ defeat is even more humiliating than that of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s.”

China has been building military based on both natural and artificial islands in the South China Sea, which surrounds Japan.

Beijing claims the area as its territory, though this overlaps with rival claims from several of its neighbours.

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