China warned that World War Three could be triggered ‘at any time’ on Tuesday after it sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan’s airspace.
An article in the state-backed Global Times newspaper said that ‘collusion’ between the US and Taiwan was so ‘audacious’ that the situation ‘has almost lost any room for manoeuvre, teetering on the edge of a face-off.’
It claimed that the people of China were ready to back all-out war with the US, which backs Taiwan, warning the island nation against ‘playing with fire’.
Taiwan, a democracy which considers itself a sovereign state, urged China and president Xi Jinping to put a halt to ‘proactive actions’ after nearly 150 Chinese warplanes breached Taiwan’s airspace since Friday, including 56 jets on Monday in a dramatic increase in aggression.
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to guard Taiwan against invasion as she indicated that without help from the country’s allies ‘authoritarianism has the upper hand over democracy.’
Meanwhile, Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth was shown in pictures sailing in the Philippine Sea in a joint exercise with two US aircraft carriers – the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson – and Japan’s helicopter destroyer JS Ise.
The armada, which also includes a number of warships from six different countries in total, trained together over the weekend in the region amid the rising tensions.
The recent voyages through the Strait of Taiwan by the British and American navies, coupled with the new Aukus defence pact have infuriated Beijing and sparked more shows of strength in the South China Sea.