The Chinese military vowed on Friday, January 12, to “crush” any effort for Taiwan’s independence, on the eve of a crucial presidential election on the island, which Beijing says is part of his territory. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army maintains high vigilance at all times and will take all necessary measures to firmly crush attempts at ‘Taiwan independence’ in any form,” the Ministry of Defense spokesperson said. defense, Zhang Xiaogang, in a press release.

He accused Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party of pushing the island “towards the dangerous conditions of war” by purchasing weapons from the United States.

Poll closely monitored

Taiwan, a territory of 23 million inhabitants, hailed as a model of democracy in Asia, is located just 180 kilometers from the coast of communist China, which considers it one of its provinces and should be attached to the rest of the country, by force if necessary.

Saturday’s vote is being closely followed by Beijing, Washington and the markets, with Taiwan – the world’s leading producer of semiconductors – also being a key player in the economy.

Throughout the week, Beijing has increased its diplomatic and military pressure on the island. On Thursday, five Chinese balloons again crossed the median line separating the archipelago from China, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense, which also spotted ten planes and six warships.