Wang warned strongly against the use of nuclear and chemical weapons in Ukraine, but did not rule out military conflict involving his own country and Taiwan. When asked “to reassure the audience that a military escalation over Taiwan issue was not imminent,” Wang maintained China’s hard-line stance on its neighbour.
“I can briefly assure the audience that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory – it has never been a country and it will not be a country in the future,” Wang said.
“This is the status quo of the Taiwan question, it is not China who wants to change the status quo but Taiwan separatist forces on the island. We don’t hope to see double standards on this issue of major significance, that is my answer.”
China claims democratic Taiwan as its own and Xi Jinping’s goal is to reunify the island with the mainland. US President Joe Biden has said his country would defend the island in the event of a Chinese attack. Recently, US officials have speculated that Beijing could be preparing to strike sooner rather than later.
China has been conducting military exercises over and near Taiwan since former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last year. This week, it was reported that the Pentagon’s top China official, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Michael Chase is visiting the island.
Wang’s strident rhetoric came as China met with Blinken, who had postponed his planned trip to Beijing after the spy balloon incident, which Harris said had not been helpful.
“We will maintain the perspective that we have in terms of what should be the relationship between China and the United States,” she told the conference.
“That is not going to change, but surely and certainly, that balloon was not helpful.”
The chair of the UK parliament’s foreign affairs committee Alicia Kearns said Wang’s war over Taiwan would be the “most catastrophic” the world had faced.
“Wang Yi’s answer does more to suggest China’s determination to be absolute in their ambitions on Taiwan than to reassure those concerned about escalation by the Chinese Communist Party,” she told this masthead.
“We need to urgently pursue an allied strategy of deterrent diplomacy to protect Taiwan and protect the world from what would be the most catastrophic war we have ever faced.”
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