If anyone tries to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs for national unity, State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe said on Sunday in Singapore, while elaborating on China's stance on the Taiwan question.
"The Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Not a single country in the world would tolerate secession," Wei said in a speech during a Shangri-La Dialogue defense forum hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
He cited the Civil War in the United States as an example, saying that American friends told him that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest US president because he led the country to victory in the Civil War and prevented the secession of states from the nation.
"The US is indivisible - so is China. China must be and will be reunified. There is no excuse not to do so," he said.
"If anyone tries to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs for national unity," Wei emphasized.
Wei warned the Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party in Taiwan, and the external forces that interfere in the Taiwan question.
"No attempts to split China will succeed. Foreign intervention in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure," he said.
Wei warned that any underestimation of the People's Liberation Army's resolve and will is extremely dangerous.
"We will strive for the prospects of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force. Safeguarding national unity is a sacred duty of the PLA," he said.
Lieutenant General He Lei, former vice-president of the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the Taiwan question is related to China's core interests, the political foundation for China-US bilateral relations and a "red line for China".
He said that before 2016 the Taiwan question was seldom raised during the dialogue since the event mostly focuses on global security issues. But in recent years, Pentagon chiefs have highlighted US commitment to the island during their plenary speeches and were praised by Taiwan secessionists.
"The PLA will not tolerate anyone using any methods to separate any part of Chinese territory," He said. "The PLA has the confidence, capability and methods to adamantly safeguard national sovereignty, security and developmental interests."