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China threatens new Taiwanese president with “retaliation”

Photo: Taiwanese Presidential Office via Agence France-Presse Lai Ching-te, whom Beijing has called a “dangerous separatist” in the past, was sworn in on Monday on the island. He promised to defend democracy there in the face of Chinese threats and called on China to “stop its political and military intimidation”.

France Media Agency in Beijing

Posted at 7:05 p.m. Updated at 7:43 p.m.

  • Asia

China on Tuesday called the inauguration speech delivered the day before by new Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te an “admission of Taiwan’s independence” and threatened him with “retaliation”.

This speech “can be described as a true admission of Taiwan’s independence,” according to a statement from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office released in the evening.< /p>

Mr. Lai, whom Beijing has called a “dangerous separatist” in the past, was sworn in on Monday on the island. He promised to defend democracy there in the face of Chinese threats and called on China to “stop its political and military intimidation.” He also spoke directly about the risk of war after years of increasing pressure from China to bring Taiwan under its control.

Taiwanese separatists “ will be nailed to the pillory of shame for history,” commented Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday, according to a statement from his ministry.

“The Lai Ching-te's betrayal of his nation and ancestors is shameful,” the minister added during a meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries. “But whatever they do, they will not be able to prevent China from finally achieving complete reunification,” he continued.

“I would like to emphasize that no matter what [Lai] says or how he says it, it will not change the status and the fact that Taiwan is part of China,” argued the spokesperson for his part. words of the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office, Chen Binhua.

“An impassable red line”

< p>Taiwan has been autonomous since 1949, when nationalists took refuge on the island after their defeat by communist forces in the Chinese civil war on the mainland. Beijing considers the democratically governed island to be part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control.

Washington has abandoned diplomatic recognition of Taipei for the benefit of Beijing in 1979, but remained Taiwan's most important partner and its main arms supplier.

China said Tuesday it had complained to the United States about US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's congratulations to Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te. In his congratulatory message, Blinken said he hoped Washington and Taipei would maintain “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

Beijing also said on Tuesday that Mr. Blinken's message “seriously violated the one-China principle […] and sent the wrong signal to separatist forces.”

“Faulty Signals”

China is “strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this move and has responded harshly to the United States,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during a press conference. “The Taiwan issue lies at the core of China's core interests and constitutes the first insurmountable red line in China-US relations,” Wang added.

China unveiled new sanctions on Monday against three American companies selling weapons to Taiwan.

Eight heads of state, those of the rare countries that recognize Taiwan, participated in the inauguration ceremony of the Taiwanese president on Monday, as well as several dozen delegations. A U.S. delegation — including former National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage — attended in Taipei.

Beijing strongly condemned the delegations' presence, calling it “gross interference in China's internal affairs” and saying it “endangered peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

“We strongly request relevant countries and politicians to stop engaging in political manipulation on Taiwan-related issues, stop sending wrong signals to the pro-independence separatist forces of Taiwan and stop taking erroneous measures that go against international good faith,” Wang also said.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116