Support of Taiwan independence could spark U.S. military conflict with China
China and the United States could end up in a military conflict if the United States encourages Taiwan's independence, Beijing's ambassador to Washington said in a U.S. radio interview broadcast on Friday.
China considers the neighboring, democratically ruled island of Taiwan its "sacred" territory and has never renounced the use of force to ensure eventual unification.
"Let me emphasize this. The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinder-box between China and the United States," Qin Gang told National Public Radio.
Asked to comment, the U.S. Defense Department said the United States remained committed to its "one China" policy and its commitments under the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act.
Under the long-standing policy, Washington officially recognizes Beijing rather than Taipei, while the act requires the United States to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself.