Chinese Ambassador : Tensions in the world between the nuclear powers are growing not only in Eastern Europe because of the Ukrainian crisis, but also in Asia. The Chinese ambassador to the United States warned of a possible military conflict over Taiwan.
hina’s ambassador to the United States said the two countries could face a “military conflict” over the future of Taiwan, in an unusually overt hint at the prospect of war .
“The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States,” Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang said Friday in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR). “If the Taiwan authorities, encouraged by the United States, continue on the path of independence, it will most likely involve China and the United States, two large countries, in a military conflict.”
Tensions around the island’s place in the world continue to rise. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province from China. In November, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Joe Biden that any support for Taiwan independence from the US would be “like playing with fire” and that “those who play with fire will get burned.”
In recent years, Beijing has increased pressure on the island. In October, Xi Jinping pledged to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan through peaceful means. But on Sunday, China’s air force deployed 39 warplanes to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, the highest daily number since October.
The United States and some of its allies have been pushing for “meaningful participation of Taiwan in the UN system” in the past few months, drawing anger in Beijing. In particular, it is reported that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament plans to visit Taiwan next month.
Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang blamed the Taiwanese administration for the current state of affairs. He accused Taipei of “pursuing its independence agenda with support and encouragement from the United States.” The diplomat added: “And the United States is playing the Taiwan card to contain China.”
Analysts say that while the Chinese ambassador’s warning to Washington is unusual, he also pointed out in an interview with NPR that bilateral ties with the US represent “China’s most important relationship.”
“Such a confrontation could lead to a permanent breakdown in bilateral relations,” said Ali Vine, senior analyst for US-China relations at the Eurasia Group in Washington. “While China often claims that its ‘great rejuvenation’ is due to the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland, Beijing probably cannot take other steps that could undermine its long-term strategic prospects as much as an attack on Taipei.”
Meanwhile, according to China’s Global Times, Chinese authorities have urged the US to end any form of official engagement with the island of Taiwan after it was revealed that US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Taiwan’s Deputy Leader Lai Qingde in Honduras during their attendance. in the inauguration of the elected president of this Central American country.
According to media reports, “U.S. and Taiwan Vice Presidents” Harris and Lai spoke briefly for about 30 seconds, touching on common interests in Central America and the White House’s strategy to curb illegal immigration from the region to the United States. Kamala Harris noted that they did not discuss China during the call, while Taiwan authorities said Vice President Lai thanked the US for its “tough” support, according to media reports.
Responding to a request to comment on the matter at a press conference on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Zhao Lijian said, “Taiwan is just a province of China; where did he get the vice president from? China has always opposed any form of official interaction between the US and the island of Taiwan, Zhao reiterated. He noted that Lai, who described himself as a pragmatic “Taiwanese separatist”, had repeatedly made “Taiwanese separatist” speeches.
Zhao pointed out that the US should abide by the One China principle and the three joint China-US communiqués, take China’s position and concerns seriously, and stop any form of interaction with the island or giving any false signals.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, also urged the US to stop playing with fire on issues related to the island of Taiwan. Any force that tries to enforce Taiwan’s separatist policy will be severely punished in accordance with the law, Zhu said.
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