China’s ambassador to Washington said on Friday China and the United States could end up in a military conflict if the United States encourages Taiwan’s independence.

Iran PressAmerica: Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory, and the United States has always incited Taiwan against the Chinese government by interfering in the island's affairs and providing financial and military support.

"Let me emphasise this. The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States,"  Qin Gang told NPR in an interview broadcast on Friday.

"If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely [will] involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict," he added.

China has long considered the nearby island territory as its "sacred" territory and has always vowed of its eventual unification with the mainland even if it has to resort to the use of force.

Qin, however, insisted that forceful measures would be the last resort towards unification, saying: "People on both sides of Taiwan Straits are Chinese, so we are compatriots. So the last thing we should do is to fight with compatriots."

"We will do our utmost in the greatest sincerity to achieve a peaceful reunification," he added, noting: "Since Taiwanese authorities, buoyed by the US, are following a path towards separation from the mainland, China will not commit to giving up the un-peaceful means for reunification because this is a deterrence."

The interview aired just hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed the crisis over Ukraine.

The remarks also came after Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned earlier this month that a confrontation between major world powers could only lead to catastrophic consequences and will not solve any problems.


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