US-China relations took another nosedive with Beijing bristling over US President Joe Biden’s remark that he’s willing to use force to defend Taiwan. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned that the US “should not stand against the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
A Foreign Ministry spokesman told media on Monday that China deplored and rejected the US leader’s remarks, which were made amid comments about Ukraine at a joint press conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“The Taiwan issue is purely China’s internal affairs and cannot be interfered by any external forces,” spokesman Wang Wenbin said. “China has no room for compromise on issues related to China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s strong determination, firm will and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and should not stand against the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
Wang said China-Taiwan and Ukraine were fundamentally different issues and it was absurd to compare the two.
He urged the US “to earnestly abide by the One China principle and … be cautious in words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and not send any wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces, so as to avoid serious damage to the situation in the Taiwan Strait and US-China relations.
“China will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests. We will do what we say.”
But Biden and his aides said on Monday and Tuesday that the US had not changed its policy of “strategic ambiguity” in regard to Taiwan, despite the president’s remarks.
Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPEF) ‘Doomed to Fail’
The US President’s trip to South Korea and Japan and his push for an Indo-Pacific strategy on economic grouping also drew flak from Beijing on Monday, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi insisting “the US Indo-Pacific strategy is doomed to fail.”
“Facts will prove that the so-called ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ is essentially a strategy for creating divisions, a strategy for inciting confrontation, and a strategy for destroying peace,” Wang said during a press conference after bilateral talks with Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Guangzhou.
“Is the US trying to accelerate the recovery of the world economy, or is it creating economic decoupling, technological blockade, industrial chain disruption, and aggravating the supply chain crisis?” Wang asked.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Minister is due to visit eight Pacific Island countries from May 26 to June 4 including the Solomon Islands, a ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
The other seven countries are Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular press briefing.
• Jim Pollard with Reuters.
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