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Chinese general issues 'war criminal' warning to Taiwan

AFP  |  Beijing 

independence supporters would be regarded as "war criminals" if was forced to intervene militarily to retake the island, a Chinese warned Wednesday.

"Supporters of Taiwanese separatism must stop in time to avoid disaster, repent and return to the right path. Otherwise they will become the scum of the Chinese nation and be condemned by history," said He Lei, former vice of the

"If we are forced to use force to settle the Taiwanese issue, they will be held responsible. In other words, they will inevitably be considered war criminals," the lieutenant said, adopting a martial tone in a meeting with journalists.

still sees as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since they split in 1949 after a civil war won by Mao Zedong's

He's warning to Taiwanese separatists comes after last week said would not renounce the option of using force to recover the island and vowed that reunification was "inevitable".

considers itself a sovereign state, with its own currency, political and judicial systems, but has never declared formal independence from the mainland.

Relations have been strained since the 2016 election of Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to acknowledge Beijing's stance that the island is part of "one China".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 19:50 IST
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