Japan must not “obscure” stance on Taiwan: China’s Wang

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday that Japan should not “obscure” its stance on the Taiwan issue and demanded that Tokyo respect the principle that Beijing is China’s only legitimate government.

The comments in a video message at a symposium in Tokyo came after tensions over Taiwan increased following a trip in early August by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the third-highest-ranking U.S. official, to the self-governed Democratic island, which China sees it as a breakaway province that must be forcibly reunited with the mainland if necessary.

A video message from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is shown at a symposium in Tokyo on September 12, 2022, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of ties between Japan and China on September 29. (TBEN)

“Important matters of the principles related to the foundation of the relationship between China and Japan, such as history and Taiwan, should not be obscured even a little,” Wang said in the video message at the event ahead of the 50th anniversary. later this month of the normalization of ties between the two countries.

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China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949 due to a civil war. Japan severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established it with mainland China in 1972, recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate government of China. Relations between Japan and Taiwan have been maintained on a non-governmental basis.

China and Japan must put into action “the political consensus not to become a threat to each other” “based on strategic and long-term perspectives,” Wang said in the message at the event hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo and the Japan Business Federation, the most influential corporate lobby in the country, better known as Keidanren.

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The Chinese minister also said he was wary of Japan becoming further involved in attempts by the United States to decouple its economy from China in industries deemed essential to national security. “

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also sent a video message to the event without any specific reference to diplomatic concerns between the two countries.

Hayashi said it is a “common goal” for the two East Asian neighbors to build “constructive and stable” bilateral relations through voluntary efforts.

Wang and Hayashi were set to hold a meeting in early August, the first meeting of foreign ministers by the two countries since November 2020, in Phnom Penh, on the sidelines of a meeting of Asian foreign ministers.

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But Wang canceled the talks at the last minute, citing criticism of China by the Group of Seven industrialized countries, including Japan, over Pelosi’s response to Pelosi’s trip.

Pelosi’s visit urged China to conduct large-scale, live-fire exercises near the island, including firing ballistic missiles, some of which fell in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou and former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also attended the symposium.

A video message from Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is shown at a symposium in Tokyo on September 12, 2022, to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China later in the month. (TBEN) ==TBEN