Taiwan: China accuses visiting UK lawmakers of trespass 

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China has accused the British parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee visiting Taiwan of “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs.

The Chinese embassy in Britain issued a statement condemning the committee’s visit as a “flagrant violation” of the one-China principle.

“The Chinese side urges the UK side to abide by its commitment, stop any actions that violate the one-China principle, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs,” the spokesperson said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The statement added that anything that undermines Chinese interests will be met by a forceful response.

 “Moves of the UK side that undermine China’s interests will be met with forceful responses from the Chinese side.” It stated.

The spokesperson said the visit sent the wrong signal to those who want Taiwan to be independent.

Meanwhile, the committee met with Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday and is due to see President Tsai Ing-Wen on Friday.

“We look forward to continuing to deepen the friendly and cooperative relations between Taiwan and the UK through this face-to-face exchange, and to continue to work together for the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region,” Taiwan’s presidential office said ahead of the meeting.

Also read: China Warns Taiwan of Opposition

The visit is part of the committee’s work examining a shift in British foreign policy towards the Indo-Pacific region, which the government has identified as an economic and diplomatic priority since leaving the European Union.

The committee is a parliamentary body, separate from the government and made up of elected lawmakers (MPs) from a range of parties. It scrutinises government policy but does not have statutory powers.

 “It is entirely right that democracies engage in dialogue with one another.

 “Whilst the Chinese Communist Party has chosen to shut down dialogue by sanctioning British MPs, I believe that engaging with, and listening to, our friends across the Indo-Pacific, matters.” committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns said in response to the Chinese statement.

Britain’s diplomatic relations with China have been in decline for several years, embroiled in rows over human rights, economic policy and China’s approach to former British colony Hong Kong.

In March 2021, China imposed sanctions on nine Britons, including elected lawmakers, for spreading what it said were “lies and disinformation” about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

The British government did not comment on the embassy statement. Britain does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but maintains an unofficial relationship and is committed to boosting collaboration in areas like trade.

China claims the self-ruled, democratic island of Taiwan as its own territory, part of its “one China” policy. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims.


Reuters/Zainab Sa’id

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