Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) yesterday warned the administration of US President Joe Biden to roll back former US president Donald Trump’s “dangerous practice” of showing support for Taiwan.
China’s claim to the nation is an “insurmountable red line,” Wang told a news conference during the annual meeting of the Chinese National People’s Congress.
The US has no official relations with Taiwan, but has extensive informal ties. Trump irked Beijing by sending Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan in a show of support.
“The Chinese government has no room for compromise,” Wang said.
“We urge the new US administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue” and “completely change the previous administration’s dangerous practices of ‘crossing the line’ and ‘playing with fire,’” he said.
Biden has said he wants a more civil relationship with Beijing, but has shown no sign of softening Trump’s confrontational measures on trade, technology and human rights.
Wang gave no indication of how Beijing might react if Biden does not change course, but the Chinese Communist Party has threatened to invade if Taiwan declares independence or delays talks on uniting with China.
Wang’s comments in a wide-ranging, two-hour news conference reflected Beijing’s increasing assertiveness abroad and rejection of criticism over Hong Kong, Xinjiang and other sensitive topics.
Wang defended proposed changes in Hong Kong that would tighten Beijing’s control by reducing the role of its public in government.
He dismissed complaints that the proposal would erode the autonomy promised to the former British colony when it returned to China in 1997.
Beijing needs to protect Hong Kong’s “transition from chaos to governance,” Wang said.
The proposal would give a pro-Beijing committee a bigger role in choosing Hong Kong legislators. That would be a marked reduction of democracy and Western-style civil liberties in Hong Kong.
Chinese officials have said they want to make sure the territory is controlled by patriots.
“No one cares more about the development of democracy in Hong Kong than the central government,” Wang said.
He said the changes would protect the “rights of Hong Kong residents and the legitimate interests of foreign investors.”
Wang also rejected complaints that Beijing’s treatment of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang amounts to genocide.
“The so-called existence of genocide in Xinjiang is absurd. It is a complete lie fabricated with ulterior motives,” Wang said.
He blamed “anti-China forces” that he said want to “undermine the security and stability of Xinjiang and hinder China’s development and growth.”
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