Chinese Ambassador Warns British MPs Against Taiwan Visit | Taiwan
China’s ambassador to the UK urged British politicians not to “dance to the tune of the United States” and promised “serious consequences” if MPs set foot in Taiwan.
Speaking at a press conference in London, Chinese Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, who has been on Parliament’s sanctions list since last summer, also reminded the British government of the joint statement signed by the two country in 1972, when they started exchanging ambassadors.
Zheng’s comment came as US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her controversial visit to Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty. Pelosi said his visit was meant to show solidarity with Asia’s vibrant democracy, but in response Beijing issued a number of warnings and threats.
China’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had been put on “high alert” and announced a series of targeted military operations, including missile tests in eastern waters. of Taiwan and exercises encircling the main island for four days. , shortly after Pelosi left this week.
Tensions between China and a number of Western countries – including the UK – over Taiwan have risen in recent years. The Chinese envoy said that the promise of some British politicians to help “defend Taiwan” and the plans for parliamentarians to visit the island would constitute both “a serious violation of the one China principle and the [Sino-UK] joint statement.
Zheng said, “It is…interference in China’s internal affairs that will inevitably lead to serious consequences in China-British relations.… We call on the British side to respect its own commitment… and not to underestimate the extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan question, and not to follow in the footsteps of the United States.
“As I said, those who play with fire will be burned,” Zheng added, echoing the warning from his president, Xi Jinping, who last week also delivered the same line to Joe Biden, his American counterpart, during their fifth phone call.
The Guardian reported on Monday that the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee is planning a visit to Taiwan later this year – likely in November or early December.
Responding to remarks about China made by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the two Conservative leadership candidates, in recent weeks, Zheng urged British politicians to “stop making up stories” and “get realistic” about the fundamentals of bilateral relations.
The Chinese ambassador also said that “the nature of the Taiwan question is completely different from that of Ukraine”, and that talk of “decoupling” between the Chinese and British economies is “self-defeating” and will end up “undermining the interests of [British] consumers” in a context of soaring inflation and the continuing crisis in the cost of living.
But the veteran diplomat was cautious in personally targeting the two candidates. “We will work with whoever becomes the new prime minister for the development of China-British relations,” he said.