Taiwan Will 'Eventually Return to Embrace of the Motherland', Chinese FM Says
11:55 GMT 07.03.2022 (Updated: 20:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Andy WongFILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China
© AP Photo / Andy Wong
Amid Russia's military operation to demilitarize and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine, there have been speculations, pushed by a host of Western politicians, that China might be emboldened to make a move to ostensibly “reclaim" Taiwan. The island has been governed independently from the mainland since 1949, with Beijing viewing it as its province.
Beijing has reiterated its stance that Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China, is “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”.
Weighing in on rampant speculations regarding the future of the island that Beijing views as its province, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Monday that Taiwan “will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland”.
Wang was speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing.
Taiwan has been governed independently from the mainland since the civil war that resulted in the Communist Party taking control in 1949. The island has its own elected government, and maintains that it is an autonomous country and has political and economic relations with several nations that recognise its sovereignty.
4 March 2022, 07:27 GMT
Reacting to parallels drawn by some Western politicians and observers between Russia’s ongoing military operation to demilitarise and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine and China’s official policy, envisioning a peaceful unification of Taiwan with Mainland China, Wang rejected that comparison, saying “the Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are different in nature and are not comparable at all.”
"The most fundamental difference is Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and the Taiwan question completely belongs to China's domestic affairs," he said.
Wang slammed the double standards wielded by those who raise a hue and cry over sovereignty in regards to the Ukraine issue, while undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in terms of the Taiwan question.
"The scheme to use Taiwan to contain China is doomed to fail," added the official.
Since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, speculation has increased that China could make a similar move against Taiwan. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged the Biden administration to take the "long-overdue" step of granting "diplomatic recognition" of Taiwan and declaring it a "free and sovereign country".
© Photo : Twitter / @MikePompeoMike Pompeo calls for Taiwan's recognition
Mike Pompeo calls for Taiwan's recognition
© Photo : Twitter / @MikePompeo
On a visit to the self-governed East Asian island between 2 and 5 March, Pompeo, in a series of tweets, said that the reality was that “there's no need for Taiwan to declare independence because it's already an independent country."
Pompeo's visit follows a trip by a senior US delegation sent by President Joe Biden and led by former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral (retired) Michael Mullen to "reassure" Taipei of Washington's support for the island.
On 3 March, the head of the US Pacific Air Forces on said that his surveillance assets were watching Chinese President Xi Jinping “like a hawk” for signs that the People’s Liberation Army might be gearing up to invade Taiwan.
“I haven’t seen anything so far, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t talked about it internally and doesn’t mean that they won’t try something,” Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said at the Air Force Association’s annual conference, according to Air Force Times.
Earlier in March, echoing the trend, former US President Donald Trump claimed that “Taiwan is next” in an interview with the host of Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria.”
While the US ended formal recognition of Taiwan when it established diplomatic relations with mainland China's Communist government in 1979, Washington has continued to openly funnel military aid to Taiwan. US President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the "One-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances" during a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2021.
In response, Xi had cautioned Biden that supporting Taiwan's "independence" was akin to "playing with fire".