China summons Japanese envoy over ex-PM Abe’s Taiwan remarks

03-Dec-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Beijing has summoned Japan’s envoy to complain about former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks on Taiwan, according to China’s foreign ministry.

In “stern representations” made on Wednesday night to ambassador Shui Hideo, Chinese assistant foreign minister Hua Chunying said Abe’s remarks were “extremely wrong” and a violation of the basic norms of relations between the two countries.

Abe said earlier on Wednesday that Japan and the US could not stand by if the self-ruled island was attacked, adding that Beijing, and in particular President Xi Jinping, should have “no misunderstanding” about the situation.

“A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance,” he told the Institute for National Policy Research, a Taiwanese think tank.

Beijing regards the island as its territory and has vowed to take it back, by force if necessary.

Hua said Abe’s remarks “gave brazen support to Taiwan independence forces” and “China is resolutely opposed to this”. She added that Japan had “no right” to make “irresponsible” remarks on the Taiwan issue, because of its history of aggression against China.

“China strongly urges Japan to deeply reflect on history, learn from history, and not to damage China’s sovereignty in any form, and not to send any wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” she said.

Hua’s complaint followed a strongly worded comment by foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin earlier on Wednesday.

Wang said Abe had “talked nonsense” and warned that “anyone who dares to repeat militarism and challenge the bottom line of the Chinese people will surely be shattered in the face”.

Abe, who stepped down as prime minister last year, heads the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and remains influential.

Tensions over Taiwan have continued in recent months and the island was in sharp focus at a virtual summit in November between Xi and his US counterpart Joe Biden, who said Washington opposed any unilateral change to the status quo.

Xi responded that “we will have no alternative but to take drastic measures” if Beijing’s red line was tested or crossed.

The Biden administration has also invited Taiwan to take part in a Washington-led democracy summit this month, the latest move to anger Beijing.


Category: China, Japan

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