China's defence minister has issued an ominous warning to the rest of the world, boasting of the country's military capabilities as well as its resolve to "defeat all enemies".
Defence Minister Wei Fenghe delivered a speech on Tuesday at the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security via video link upon invitation, saying while China "loves peace", Beijing would "unswervingly safeguard its core interests".
China had ended its unprecedented military drills surrounding Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit by warning it was continuing to "prepare for combat".
Just days later a visit from five US lawmakers to Taiwan late on Sunday sparked further military exercises from China.
China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called the visit a "blatant violation" adding it "sends a seriously wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces".
Mr Wei said China would not accept such foreign interference.
"There is absolutely no good end to 'Taiwan independence' separatist schemes and interference by external forces will never succeed," he said, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.
"The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has never been afraid of any enemy, and we have the confidence and courage to defeat all incoming enemies."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who shares close ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping, also waded in on the matter, saying Ms Pelosi's visit was not an irresponsible act from an individual, however a "purposeful, conscious US strategy to destabilise and make chaotic the situation".
Taiwan accuses China of exaggeration
On Tuesday, Taiwan accused China of exaggerating its latest military drills after the Chinese military published footage of Taiwan's strategic stronghold the Penghu Islands, situated 50km off Taiwan's west coast.
Taiwan Air Force Vice Chief of Staff for Operations Tung Pei-lun told reporters in Taipei that this was Chinese information warfare.
"China used the exaggerated tricks of cognitive warfare to show how close it was to Penghu — which is not true," Mr Tung said.
A video clip released by the PLA Eastern Theater Command shows a pilot looking down at Penghu Islands during the ongoing multi-service joint combat readiness and actual combat drills surrounding #Taiwan island on Mon pic.twitter.com/CaW9ivgpWQ
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 15, 2022
China sanctions 'diehard' separatists
It comes as China moved to sanction a long list of what it called diehard "Taiwan independence" separatists on Tuesday.
A spokesperson of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee said the individuals had "gone to great lengths to collude with external forces".
The move will see the individuals and their families banned from mainland China as well as banning their organisations from cooperating with others across the Taiwan Strait.
Mainland experts told nationalistic state-run tabloid the Global Times the move will ensure the separatists "feel the pain".
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