On Thursday, China lodged stern protests at Japan after its Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made a rare reference to Taiwan as an independent ‘country’ during a parliamentary meeting.
According to the reports, China has reacted strongly to Japanese PM Suga’s reference to Taiwan as a country and claimed that such references breached Japan’s pledge not to refer to self-ruled Taiwan as a country. Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway region to be reunited in the future, if required, by force.
On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide had referred to Taiwan as a country during a National Diet meeting.
Suga, who leads the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), had participated in a one-on-one debate with the opposition party leaders on Wednesday. While discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, the Japanese PM Suga had cited strategies adopted by different countries, including Australia, New Zealand. He included Taiwan as one of the nations that had adopted strong restrictions on private rights.
Edano Yukio, leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party, also referred to Taiwan as a country during the meeting, referring to Taiwan’s strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19.
China says reference to Taiwan as a nation violated ‘One-China’ principle
Reacting to the Japanese PM’s remarks on Taiwan at the National Diet meeting, Wang Wenbin, Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Japan seriously violated the principles of the four political documents including the China-Japan Joint Declaration and breached the solemn promise of “not regarding Taiwan as a country” made by the various Japanese side many times so far in the past.
He demanded clarifications immediately from Japan to eliminate the damage and asked Japan to ensure that such a thing did not reoccur.
“China seriously urges the Japanese side to earnestly keep its promises on the Taiwan question, to exercise caution in words and deeds, to not damage China’s sovereignty in any way, and to refrain from sending wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces,” Wang said.
The Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson said that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory. Wang added that the Taiwan question concerns the political foundation of China-Japan ties, the basic credibility between the two countries, and the international rule of law and justice.
Growing ties between Japan and Taiwan
Taiwan and mainland China have been separately governed since the former split from mainland China in 1949 following the Chinese civil war.
Ever since Japan broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1972, the Japanese government has usually referred to Taiwan as a breakaway region of China in accordance with the “one-China” policy. As China began to flex its muscle in the region, the ties between Japan and Taiwan has considerably increased in the last few years.
With the advent of the Chinese pandemic, the ties between the two East Asian nations grew exponentially, which was also demonstrated by Japan’s donation of 1.24 million vaccine doses last week. The island nation had also released a joint statement with the US earlier this year, placing great importance on peace and stability in Taiwan Strait, irking China.