“It’s not mainland China, but separatists in Taiwan and a few countries are trying to shake up the status quo,” Minister Chen Gang said at the Lanting Forum, a conference hosted by the Chinese government in Shanghai on China’s modernization. “Those who play with fire in Taiwan will end up burning themselves.”
The Taiwan Strait is a 180 km wide strait between mainland China to the west and the island of Taiwan to the east. China recently held a three-day military exercise around the island of Taiwan after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles, angering Beijing.
Democratic, self-governing Taiwan, which was never part of the People’s Republic of China, has had an independent government since 1949. However, China considers the island, with a population of about 23 million, to be part of its territory. China recently confirmed that Taiwan is an “inalienable part of China”.
Chinese warships near Taiwan after political talks on US soil: what’s going on?
Beijing had indicated before the meeting with McCarthy that it would respond “firmly”. When McCarthy’s predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, traveled to Taiwan last summer, massive Chinese military exercises across the island also followed.
There have been many tensions between the two countries in recent months. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there is great concern in the West that China might also use military force in its territorial claim to Taiwan.
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