Beijing: Signalling far closer ties with Russia amid the deepening Ukraine war, China on Tuesday said that the US which calls for respecting the sovereignty of Ukraine should also recognise its claims over Taiwan.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province which will one day unite with it. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to reunify the self-ruled island with the mainland.
“The Taiwan question is at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said while addressing his first annual press conference on the sidelines of the Parliament session.
The US speaks of the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, why not honour China’s sovereignty, he said asserting that Taiwan is an integral part of China.
Questioning Washington’s repeated calls to Beijing not to supply weapons to Russia, Qin said “why does the US talk at length about respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine while disrespecting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan question?”
Flaunting the Chinese Constitution, claiming that the self-governing island Taiwan is part of it, Qin asked “why does the US ask China not to provide weapons for Russia while it keeps selling arms to Taiwan? Why does the US keep on professing the maintenance of regional peace and stability while covertly formulating a plan for the ‘destruction of Taiwan’?” Qin said.
Last week, the US approved more arms sales to Taiwan, including USD 619 million worth of munitions for F-16 fighter jets. The US is Taiwan’s main supplier of military equipment, and China has objected to past sales with sanctions and other punitive actions.
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On China’s approach to reunifying Taiwan with the mainland, Qin, who was appointed China’s foreign minister in December last year, said “we will work with the greatest sincerity and exert utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, but will reserve the option of taking all necessary measures,” without directly mentioning the military option.
In January, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned China against changing the status quo in Taiwan. He said that, over the last few years, China has been trying to build military and economic pressure on Taiwan which is vital to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
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