Taiwan has turn out to be the newest focus within the fraught relationship between London and Beijing, with the overseas secretary, Liz Truss, summoning China’s ambassador to clarify his authorities’s current actions over the self-ruled democracy.
“I instructed officials to summon the Chinese ambassador to explain his country’s actions. We have seen increasingly aggressive behaviour and rhetoric from Beijing in recent months, which threaten peace and stability in the region,” Truss stated in a press release.
The overseas secretary stated the UK and companions have condemned “within the strongest phrases China’s escalation within the area round Taiwan, as seen via our current G7 assertion”. She additionally urged Beijing to resolve any variations “by peaceful means”.
After days of large navy drills, which started on 4 August, China on Wednesday introduced an finish to its operations surrounding Taiwan however stated additional “training and war preparation” would proceed.
Zheng Zeguang, China’s ambassador to the UK, stated his authorities’s actions had been provoked by the US “in collusion with the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces”, in line with a Chinese report printed after his assembly with Sir Tim Barrow, second everlasting under-secretary on the Foreign Office.
Zheng, within the assembly, complained concerning the UK’s “wrong remarks and deeds on the question of Taiwan”, and stated the US had been “playing the ‘Taiwan card’ to contain China” by actions equivalent to arms gross sales and stepping up its official exchanges with Taiwan.
Since the US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s journey to Taiwan final week, state-owned Chinese media have been pumping out supplies that discredit the 82-year-old Democrat, accusing her of touching China’s “red lines”. China has additionally imposed sanctions on Pelosi and halted a number of the key collaborations with the US.
China’s ruling communist occasion has lengthy claimed Taiwan’s sovereignty. Beijing insists its “one-China principle” would bar most incumbent overseas authorities officers from setting foot on the island. Zheng final week additionally warned senior British parliamentarians in opposition to visiting Taiwan.
On Wednesday, China issued a white paper reiterating Beijing’s coverage on Taiwan. “We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification,” the official English-language model of the doc stated. “But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures.”
Bilateral relations between the UK and China have been in freefall lately. London and Beijing have imposed mutual sanctions over China’s remedy of its Uyghur inhabitants. As a consequence, Zheng, the highest Chinese official within the UK, has additionally been barred from getting into parliament since final September.
In a current press convention, Zheng urged the UK to be pragmatic concerning the bilateral relationship. But he additionally stated China will “work with whoever becomes the new PM for the development of the China-UK relationship”.
Truss, a frontrunner within the Conservative management race, has had an extended observe file in taking a troublesome stance on China. In May, she vowed to “hold China to account” for its coverage in Xinjiang. She has additionally made analogy with Europe’s gasoline dependence on Russia. “We cannot allow that to happen with China and freedom is a price worth paying,” Truss stated in a recent TV debate.