WW3 fears as Taiwan prepares for war with China and puts army on high alert

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The simmering tension between Taiwan and China could be about to boil over, sparking fears it could trigger World War Three.

Taiwanese National Defense Ministry has reportedly cancelled some officers' and soldiers' leave and mobilised air defense forces to "prepare for war" in the latest development in a saga that has been threatening to escalate for months.

Taiwan has also been holding its largest ever military drills which simulate the repulsion of an invading force, as China's main ally Russia attempts to take Ukraine.

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Last week, cities across Taiwan shut down for 30 minutes for a nationwide military drill, with police bungling people into shelters and citizens running with their hands on their heads.

That came as China last week made a bona fide threat to Taiwan, saying that if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the country, which wants to keep its independence from China, they would have to react.

China warned that its military would never "sit idly by" if she were to visit Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

Amid widespread speculation over whether she would make a stop in Taiwan, Pelosi's office said yesterday (Sunday, July 31) that she was heading to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan – no mention of Taiwan.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that it would be "a gross interference in China's internal affairs" if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned that it would lead to "very serious developments and consequences."

"We would like to tell the United States once again that China is standing by, the Chinese People's Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhao said at a regular daily briefing.

Asked what kind of measures the PLA might take, Zhao said: "if she dares to go, then let us wait and see.''

During a phone call last Thursday, President Chinese Xi Jinping warned his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden that Washington should abide by the one-China principle and "those who play with fire will perish by it".

Biden told Xi that U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed and that Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Last Wednesday, Biden told reporters he thought the U.S. military believed a Pelosi visit to Taiwan was "not a good idea right now".


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