France – World – China threatens new Taiwanese president with “retaliation”

This speech “can be described as a true admission of Taiwan’s independence”, according to a press release from the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office released in the evening, referring to future “retaliations”.

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 pilloried of shame for history,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi commented on Tuesday, according to a press release from his ministry.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting of foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries on May 21, 2024 in Astana, Kazakhstan. PHOTO AFP / STRINGER

“Lai Ching-te’s betrayal of his nation and his 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. word from the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office, Chen Binhua.

– “An impassable red line” –

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when nationalists took refuge on the island after their defeat by communist forces in the Chinese civil war on the mainland.

Map of Taiwan and China showing in particular the median line of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial demarcation between China and Taiwan that the former does not recognize AFP PHOTO / Jean-Michel CORNU, Patricio ARANA

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 abandoned diplomatic recognition of Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979, but remained Taiwan’s most important partner and its main arms supplier.

China said on Tuesday that it had complained to the United States about the congratulations that American Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent to the new president of Taiwan, 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 declared on Tuesday that Mr. Blinken’s message “seriously violated the principle of one China (…) and sent the wrong signal to separatist forces.”

China is “strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this approach and has responded severely to the United States,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 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.

Taiwan's new President-elect Lai Ching-te (l) and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (r) during the inauguration ceremony on May 20, 2024 in Taipei
Taiwan’s new President-elect Lai Ching-te (l) and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (r) during the inauguration ceremony on May 20, 2024 in Taipei AFP PHOTO / Sam YEH

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 US 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 Taiwan separatist forces, and stop taking wrong actions that go against international good faith,” Mr. Wang also said.

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