Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on March 7 in Beijing says “the Taiwan question is … the first redline that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations.” (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)
Foreign Minister Qin Gang heaps blame on Washington for deteriorating ties
BEIJING — Beijing warned Washington on Tuesday that interfering with Taiwan’s future is the “first red line” in Sino-U.S. relations, as ties plunge to new lows.
During a two-hour press briefing that touched on the Ukraine conflict, Japan-China relations and a recent spat over a suspected Chinese spy balloon, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang repeated Beijing’s claim that Taiwan was part of its territory and could be taken by force, if necessary.
Holding up a red booklet containing China’s constitution, the former ambassador to the U.S. said his country’s legal framework called for the “peaceful” reunification with Taiwan. Earlier in the day, the island’s defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, said “repeated provocations” from China could trigger an armed response.
“The Taiwan question is the core interest of China, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations,” Qin said in his debut media briefing on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress, an annual meeting of parliament. “The United States has unshakable responsibility for causing the Taiwan question.”
Qin added that “no one should ever underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese government and people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
His comments came after the Financial Times reported that Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen had convinced U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to meet in California instead of Taipei to avoid raising Beijing’s ire.
Last year, after a trip to Taiwan by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China responded by staging a week of war games around the island.
Sino-U.S. relations have dropped to new lows over a host of issues including Taiwan’s standing, China’s support for ally Russia in Ukraine, and espionage claims that Beijing has dismissed.
On Tuesday, Qin said the United States’ perception of China was “seriously distorted,” as he accused the U.S. of engaging in a “malicious” rivalry aimed at suppressing China, echoing comments from President Xi Jinping on Monday.
Referencing the spy balloon claims, Qin said Washington “overreacted” and “dramatized” the incident.
“If the United States does not hit the brake and continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails will prevent [relations from] derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” said Qin, who was appointed foreign minister in December. “Who will bear the catastrophic consequences?”
READ FULL ARTICLE:
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
You can support my work directly on Patreon
Contact by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact by mail: email@example.com