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George Galloway has warned that there is a “grave risk” of an accidental war breaking out between China and the US. The former British MP also did not rule out China launching the first military strike against US ships or bombers in the South China Sea amid rising military tensions over Taiwan. Dozens of of Chinese military warplanes again approached Taiwan for a second consecutive day on Saturday.
The 19 Chinese aircraft, some of which crossed the sensitive Taiwan Strait midline and into Taiwan’s air defence zone, prompted the Taiwanese defence ministry to scramble jets.
Taiwan’s defence ministry condemned China for carrying out provocative activities and seriously damaging peace and stability.
The Chinese military have described the warplane manoeuvres as training exercises.
However, a military official in Beijing later admitted it was meant as a warning to Taiwan and the United States about their increasing political and military cooperation.
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Mr Galloway told RT: “The situation is gravely troubling.
“Neither side can possibly want a war, which would have cataclysmic consequences for the world and the world’s economy, which has already sunk in a pandemic.
“The danger of an accident happening is now very grave.
“You have fighters and bombers making practice bombing runs using live ammunition, while an American envoy is in Taiwan, breaking all previous US political protocols since 1979.
“The Trump administration is taking terrifying risks.”
Galloway was pressed on whether “China is angry enough to react in a military fashion besides just exercises”.
He responded: “I suspect they are. They are at the end of their tether.
“They cannot be expected to accept slow strangulation attempts by the US. While Chinese patience is legendary, I suspect the time is running out.”
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The Chinese show of force is seen as a response to visit of the most senior State Department official in Taiwan in over four decades.
US under secretary for economic affairs, Keith Krach, arrived to Taipei on Thursday for a three-day visit to the outrage of Beijing.
Senior Col. Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, warned the United States and Taiwan against what he called “collusion.”
He said: “Those who play with fire are bound to get burned.”
An editorial in the state-run Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Friday read: “Every time a high-ranking US official visits Taiwan, the fighter jets of the PLA should be one step closer to the island.”
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