China warns U.S over Taiwan, rejects Hong Kong, Xinjiang criticism
By Brian Swan , March 9, 2021
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in a fiery press conference on Sunday, warned the U.S over the Taiwan issue and expressed China’s stance on other sensitive issues, including Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.
The claim to Taiwan, which split with the mainland in 1949, is an “insurmountable red line”, Wang Yi said. He was talking at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature.
“The Chinese government has no room for compromise or concessions on the Taiwan issue,” 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 added.
The United States has no official relations with Taiwan but maintains informal ties with the island democracy. China continues to claim Taiwan as its own territory.
The Trump administration angered Beijing by sending Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan in a show of support.
The Biden administration has kept the same stance and said that the US commitment to democratic Taiwan is “rock solid.”
In a two-hour-long press conference, Wang went on to defend the controversial electoral reforms in Hong Kong. The proposed changes will tighten Beijing’s control on the semi-autonomous territory by reducing the role of Hong Kong’s public and government.
“No one cares more about the development of democracy in Hong Kong than the central government,” Wang said. He said the changes will protect the “rights of Hong Kong residents and the legitimate interests of foreign investors.”
Wang’s comments come one week after 47 pro-democracy activists were detained on charges of conspiracy to commit subversion under the controversial national security law.
Also Sunday, Wang rejected complaints 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 wanted to “undermine the security and stability of Xinjiang and hinder China’s development and growth.”
Wang urged the US to remove “unreasonable” curbs on cooperation as soon as possible and work together on issues of common interest.
“It is hoped that the United States and China will meet each other halfway and lift the various unreasonable restrictions placed on Sino-US cooperation to date as soon as possible, and not create new obstacles artificially,” Wang said.
He criticized the US for using democracy and human rights as a basis for meddling with other countries’ affairs.
“The US should realize this as soon as possible, otherwise the world will continue to experience instability.”
The top Chinese diplomat also expressed a willingness to communicate for the sake of Chinese sovereignty.
“Under the condition of respect for Chinese sovereignty, we are willing to communicate with all parties about the facts and disperse concerns, but we do not accept groundless accusations and smears, or violation of our core interests,” Wang said.