China wants US to ‘stop playing with fire’ over Taiwan as Beijing deploys record number of nuke bombers for war games

CHINA has warned the US to "stop playing with fire" as they continue to strengthen their relationship with Taiwan.

It comes after the US State Department issued new guidelines as it continues to lend itself as a Western ally to the island nation – much to Beijing's fury.

It comes after China deployed a 25-strong nuclear flying force in Taiwanese airspace, marking their largest incursion to date.

"There is zero room for compromise and not an inch to give," Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian warned.

"We urge the U.S. side to grasp the situation, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, refrain from playing with fire, immediately stop official contact with Taiwan in any form."

It seems to be a direct reference to the new guidelines, which allow officials from Washington and Taipei to meet more freely.

The spokesman went on to caution the US against sending the "wrong signals to Taiwan 'independence forces' so as not to subversively influence and damage Sino-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Despite having no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the US has proved a helpful aide amid the growing hostility with Beijing in recent years.

Although they respect the "one China" policy enforced by Beijing as they desperately try and unite with Taiwan, under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Actthe US is legally required to supply them with arms to defend itself.

China regards Taiwan as its most sensitive territorial issue – that is off-limits to the US – and has worryingly never ruled out the use of force in potential plans to unify.

Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu previously said the country will fight "to the very last day" if it came under attack from China.

It is feared this notion is on the brink of becoming a reality, as a chilling report by the Council on Foreign Relations think tank warned a "severe crisis" could be expected this year.

They have continued to taunt President Joe Biden by maintaining a bullying presence in the Taiwanese airspace – sending a lethal fleet of Chinese nuke bombers and fighter jets in record numbers just days ago.

The largest incursion to date saw an impressive squadron of 14 J-16 and four J-10 fighter jets, accompanied by four H-6K bombers.

The deadly troop of aircraft, that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, were joined by two anti-submarine aircraft and an early warning aircraft, according to Taiwan's defence ministry.

It marked a serious step-up of invasions of the air space in the breakaway province since the ministry began reporting Chinese airforce activities in the area last year.

The so-called "military activities" were an attempt to stop "external forces" interfering with peace and stability, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said.

"The People's Liberation Army's organising of actual combat exercises in the Taiwan Strait is a necessary action to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty," spokesman Ma Xiaoguang explained.

"It is a solemn response to external forces' interference and provocations by Taiwan independence.

"The PLA's military exercises and training operations are sending a signal that our determination to curb Taiwan independence and Taiwan-US collusion is not just talk."

In January, China sent 15 fighter jets into Taiwanese airspace twice in two days, just as President Biden took office – which was regarded as a warning to the new administration.

But it did not intimidated Biden, as he defiantly confirmed the US commitment to Taiwan was "rock-solid" and instead voiced concerns of China's "pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbours".

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