China issues chilling threat to ‘eliminate’ US amid claim only 30k troops remain in Taiwan

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China said it would “launch a war” on US troops stationed on Taiwan after a tweet sent by Senator John Cornyn which erroneously claimed there were 30,000 US soldiers in Taiwan. The tweet has since been deleted but Beijing was quick to lash out and issue a warning.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-affiliated Global Times, shared a screenshot of Sen Cornyn’s tweet and demanded an explanation.

He wrote: “Now, the US and the Taiwan authorities must explain.

“If it is true that the US has 30,000, or less than that number, soldiers stationed on the Taiwan island, Chinese military forces will immediately launch a war to eliminate and expel the US soldiers.”

Earlier this week, Mr Hu directed his threats directly toward Taipei as he warned it would not receive protection from the US.

His remarks referenced the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan ahead of the Taliban capture of Kabul.

The editor tweeted: “After the fall of the Kabul regime, the Taiwan authorities must be trembling.

“Don’t look forward to the US to protect them.”

Referring to China’s People’s Liberation Army, Mr Hu added: “Taipei officials need to quietly mail-order a Five-Star Red Flag from the Chinese mainland.

“It will be useful one day when they surrender to the PLA.”

China regards Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory.

It has repeatedly threatened to use force to seize it from the Taiwanese government and rejoin it to the mainland.

On Tuesday, the Chinese military carried out a live-fire drill off the coast of Taiwan with warships and fighter planes.

Shi Yi, a spokesman for the Chinese army, defined it as a “necessary activity in response to the recent situation in the Taiwan Strait”.

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