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Fears of war between Taiwan and China breaking out imminently have surfaced after the island nation issued a threatening statement about how it intends to handle any conflict with Beijing.

Tension has festered among the two sparring nations, with China claiming Taiwan as its own territory – a sentiment stiffly opposed by civilians on the island, which claims its own independence away from Beijing.

China has continually demanded that Taiwan its brought back under control, raising concerns that armed conflict could arise between the countries.

And the rhetoric of war was raised by Joseph Wu, who currently holds the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China in Taiwan.

Speaking to Sky News Australia, Mr Wu denied his country would rely on help from allies like the US were war to break out, instead warning that Taiwan would take on any enemies itself.

Speaking from Taipei, the politician said: “A lot of people are debating strategic ambiguity or strategic clarity, but to us, we know our own responsibility.

“Taiwan has to defend itself, the people have to defend Taiwan, this country, and we are determined to defend ourselves and we are not asking other countries to fight for Taiwan.”

Washington has continued to remind officials in Taiwan that the US would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the country were war to erupt.

Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, added that Washington would remain consistent with its approach to Taiwan, and that “any resolution of the (cross-Taiwan Strait) differences has to be peaceful”.

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The ambassador told a discussion with the Washington-based Stimson Center think tank that the US “hope that the government here in China will commit itself to a peaceful resolution of the dispute”.

He also noted that Washington has “the obligation as well as the interest to make sure that we can provide defensive arms to Taiwan so that the Taiwan authorities can have a proper defence and we can help them build up a deterrence”.

Mr Burns added: “If Taiwan has a sufficient deterrence in place, and if other countries around the world are supporting a peaceful resolution, one would hope that that would lead the Chinese to understand the consequences of the use of force in the Taiwan Strait.”

But Mr Wu reminded viewers he “certainly hoped” that war was not to be Taiwan’s final destination.

The Taiwanese minister concluded: “The reason is very clear: War means devastation, not just for the one who got attacked but possibly also for other countries as well.

“And therefore, at this moment, even though we see that the tension has been rising and the conflict seems to be more likely and peace is less likely to maintain, we need to do everything to prevent war from happening.”

It comes as the US cemented its stance on supporting the Philippines as relations surrounding the South China Sea intensified.

The Philippines has, in recent days, accused China’s coastguard of carrying out “dangerous maneuvers” and “aggressive tactics” in the region, while Beijing responded by claiming Manila was making “deliberate provocative moves”.

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