China threat: Beijing plots Taiwan reunification, warning opponents ‘will get burned’

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The message comes at a time of heightened tension between China and the US, with the USS Mustin sent through the Taiwan Straits yesterday in a move which prompted angry condemnation from Beijing. The one-China principle sums up Beijing’s attitude towards the island officially known as the Republic of China, which it regards as being part of its territory.

Current President Tsai Ing-wen is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, and as such is committed to Taiwan retaining its independence.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was speaking in response to a statement issued by the Somali Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which yesterday launched a stinging attack on Taiwan, accusing it of a “reckless attempt” to “infringe” on its sovereignty.

Mr Zhao said there was “only one China in the world”, of which Taiwan was an “inalienable part”.

Those going against the trend to challenge the one-China principle will get burned and swallow the bitter fruit

Zhao Lijian

He further claimed the one-China principle was a “consensus of the international community”.

In a message likely aimed at Tsai and her party, he added: “Those going against the trend to challenge the one-China principle will get burned and swallow the bitter fruit.”

As the start of this month, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang said in a press conference in Beijing: “These attempts to contain China with Taiwan interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

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“They are completely wrong and extremely dangerous.

“The US should realise that China must and will be reunified, and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation must and will be achieved.”

Taiwan has long been considered a potential flashpoint between China and the west, especially since the passing of controversial security laws in Hong Kong, a few hundred miles to the west.

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Speaking to last month, Tobias Ellwood MP, chairman of the Defence Select Committee as well as a member of Parliament’s China Research Group, warned China’s policy of militarising islands in the South China Sea was partly aimed at cutting Taiwan off.

Referring to one such island, Scarborough Shoal, he explained: “Scarborough Shoal is closer to the Philippines than it is to China.

“In fact it is arguably closer to Malaysia as well so both of them could rightly claim it before China and yet you have got these activities going on.

“This is almost 1,000 miles off China’s coast.”

“This is one of the many islands and archipelagos which China is developing.

“The Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, they are all part of the maritime strategy to dominate the South China Sea.

“This will mean that Taiwan is essentially surrounded, making it very difficult for anybody to intervene.”

He also addressed the subject of the South China Sea during a Defence Select Committee meeting which was also attended by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Mr Ellwood said: “It’s only a matter of time before they put in air limitations in addition to the marine one which is there already.

“Once they’ve done that it won’t be Hong Kong we are considering. It will be Taiwan that’s under pressure there as well.”

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