Any attempt by Taiwan to rely on the United States and its allies to seek independence is “doomed to failure”, a Chinese government official in the Pacific has warned.
The comments come following a report – released on August 6 by a representative at the Taiwan Trade Office in Fiji – about the visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.
In the report, Taiwan Trade Mission representative in Fiji Joseph Chow said the Chinese military exercises, which coincided with Pelosi’s visit, were targeted.
“[It was a] deliberate intensification of various forms of military posturing targeted at Taiwan,” he said.
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“China’s provocative actions had already posed a challenge to the international order and disrupted peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the region.”
But a spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in Suva labelled Chow’s report “extremely erroneous and provocative”.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have escalated since Pelosi’s visit, with China responding in a show of military might over the Taiwan Strait.
“Chow’s report distorted the history, violating the one-China principle and the basic norms governing international relations,” the Chinese spokesperson said in a statement.
“A handful of die-hard ‘Taiwan independence’ elements that have recklessly carried out separatist activities are historical sinners, and will be punished ruthlessly.
“To uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China is the firm will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
The spokesperson said China would not tolerate any “Taiwan independence” moves that aimed to separate the “breakaway province under any name or by any means”.
“Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
The US-China fallout also stemmed from concerns the Americans and their allies, New Zealand and Australia, have about Beijing’s growing influence and presence in the Pacific after the Chinese sealed a security pact with the Solomon Islands in March.
The Western allies said the agreement could provide a gateway for a Chinese military presence in the Pacific.
The deal will allow Solomons’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to call on China to help maintain social order and Chinese naval vessels to recharge in the Pacific nation.
Sogavare said the security co-operation with China was not directed at any country or external alliances, but “rather at our own internal security situation”.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and officials from Japan, Australia and New Zealand attended the recent 80th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomons.
Sogavare did not attend the dawn service for the WWII battle, organised by the US, with local media reporting it as a “snub”.
The Solomon Star said Sogavare was due to give a speech at the service that was attended by Sherman, but the PM did not appear.
According to the National WWII Museum in the US, American and Imperial Japanese forces battled over the island of Guadalcanal for close to six months and left 22,000 people dead, including soldiers and civilians.
Sherman later told a news conference she was sorry that the “prime minister had missed a great opportunity to build a new partnership with the US”.
Sogavare’s office has not responded to a request for comment.
Sherman met with Sogavare later to discuss US aid programmes, a statement from the PM’s Office said. Sherman also praised the Solomon Islanders’ role in assisting the US during the war.
Sherman’s Pacific tour included New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga.
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