China warns Japan after its PM refers to Taiwan as a ‘country’

Yoshihide Suga had referred to Taiwan as a country during a meeting of National Diet, the country’s bicameral legislature on Wednesday.
People wearing protective masks shop at a market amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Taipei, Taiwan. (REUTERS)
People wearing protective masks shop at a market amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Taipei, Taiwan. (REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 10, 2021 08:25 PM IST
Copy Link
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China on Thursday said it has lodged stern protests and warned Japan after its Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made a rare reference to Taiwan as a country during a parliamentary meeting a day before.

China accused Japan of severely breaching its pledge not to refer to self-ruled Taiwan as a country, which Beijing sees as a breakaway region to be reunited, if required, by force.

Suga had referred to Taiwan as a country during a meeting of National Diet, the country’s bicameral legislature on Wednesday.

In his first one-on-one parliamentary debate with opposition leaders on Wednesday, Suga, naming Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan, said “such three countries have been imposing strong restrictions on privacy rights” to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak, Kyodo news agency said in its report from Tokyo.

The reference evoked strong response from Beijing, which is against foreign countries having diplomatic ties with Taiwan or even referring to the island as a country.

“Japanese leaders flagrantly refer to Taiwan as a ‘country’ on multiple occasions, severely violating principles set out in the four political documents including the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and its solemn and repeated commitment of not seeing Taiwan as a country,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Thursday.

“China is strongly dissatisfied with Japan’s wrong remarks and has lodged solemn representation to the Japanese side,” Wang said, adding: “We ask Japan to make prompt clarification, remove the severe damage and ensure that such things won’t happen again.”

Urging the Japanese side to “earnestly honour its commitment”, Wang said Tokyo should avoid undermining China’s sovereignty in any form and refrain from sending any wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” forces.

Wang emphasised that there is only “one China” in the world and “Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory”.

Since Japan broke off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1972, successive Japanese governments have usually called Taiwan a region, in accordance with its “one-China” policy.

Japan-Taiwan ties recently, however, have shown signs of warming especially after Tokyo last week donated 1.24 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to help tackle the rising number of cases on the island.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen thanked Japan for supplying “timely assistance”, calling Tokyo “a partner insisting on the same values of freedom and democracy”.

In April, a joint statement after a summit between US President Joe Biden and Suga referred to the “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

“The meeting was Biden’s first in-person meeting with a foreign head of state since taking office and was in line with the US administration’s efforts to rally its partners in the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s growing influence in the region. Notably, the statement was the first issued by leaders of the two countries to mention Taiwan since 1969,” Taiwan News reported.

Ties between China and Japan are themselves fraught with the history of colonialism and maritime disputes with differences flaring frequently.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Newly-appointed British chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

    Nadhim Zahawi: Rishi Sunak's successor whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the new chancellor of the exchequer, replacing Rishi Sunak who had earlier resigned from the cabinet in protest against Johnson's leadership. Zahawi's appointment also comes at a time when the British government is trying to tackle the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation. As a trained chemical engineer, Zahawi went on to work in the oil industry. He backed Brexit in 2016.

  • FILE PHOTO: A general view of village houses at Hong Kong border facing the skyscrapers in Shenzhen, in Hong Kong, China.

    Why property developers in China accepting house payments in watermelons, wheat

    Real estate firms in China have now started accepting payments for homes in watermelon, wheat, garlic and several other agricultural produce, Chinese daily The Global Times reported. Realtors in tier-3 and 4 cities are encouraging home buyers to pay part of the house payment with wheat and garlic. Experts say that China's economy, battered by multiple Covid-19 curbs, has shown slow post-lockdown recovery.

  • A man clears debris from a driveway near a bus inundated by floodwaters on a residential street, following heavy rains and severe flooding in the McGraths Hill suburb of Sydney, on July 6, 2022. 

    Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney

    Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia's largest city. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said.

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, foreground and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a cabinet meeting.

    ‘Will have to drag him kicking and screaming': UK PM Boris Johnson on the brink

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face questions in parliament followed by a grilling by senior lawmakers on Wednesday, with his premiership on the brink after a slew of resignations from ministers saying he was not fit to govern. A growing number of lawmakers in his ruling Conservative Party have said the game is up for Johnson.

  • Rishi Sunak reacts as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London.

    ‘Cannot continue like this’: What Rishi Sunak said as he quit Johnson cabinet

    British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid quit the government on Tuesday amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appointing a tarnished member of the Parliament to a key government position.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022