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China says in veiled message that US will be ‘crushed by history’ due to Taiwan


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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that anyone who tries to stop the reunification of his country and Taiwan will be “crushed by the wheels of history”. The speech took place in his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York this Saturday (24).

Wang also declared that only when the mainland and the island return to being one territory “will there be peace”. “We must firmly combat Taiwan’s separatist independence activities and take more forceful steps to oppose outside interference,” he said.

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Taipei broke with Beijing in 1949, when nationalists who had been defeated by Mao Tse-tung’s troops fled to the island and forged a capitalist government there. The region calls itself independent, but Chinese authorities consider it a rebel breakaway province, which must be reclaimed.

One of the means they use for this is by isolating it diplomatically, in a policy known as “one China”. It establishes that countries can only have a relationship with Beijing, an economic giant, when they sever ties with Taipei.

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However, the United States maintains a “strategic ambiguity” on the matter, designed both to prevent a Chinese invasion and to dissuade the island from provoking China by declaring itself independent.

A visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last month put this ambiguity into question. Pelosi was the highest-ranking American official to visit the region in 25 years, and her trip hit hard against the Xi Jinping administration.

Wang Yi’s statements at the UN therefore now have the US as their main target, in line with the increasingly assertive diplomacy of the Asian country. The hardline speech reflects a common vehemence for Chinese when it comes to the island.

The Chinese chancellor had met the day before with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken. Already at the meeting, he had warned the representative about the growing US support for the rebel island – a bill that would force Washington to sell military supplies to Taipei, in order to guarantee its defense against Beijing forces, has recently advanced in the Senate.

The Americans’ rapprochement with the island was also mentioned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the same General Assembly moments later. “They are playing with fire in the case of Taiwan,” he said, accusing the Americans of trying to subjugate a number of areas in Asia.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself defended the principle of “one China” in a speech. Neither he nor Xi personally went to New York this year.

Moscow has one of its most powerful allies in Beijing today — the Chinese exercise what analysts call a “pro-Russian neutrality” in the Ukraine War, reiterating Kiev’s sovereignty but not condemning the Russians for the invasion. Days before the start of the conflict, the two nations signed a pact of boundless friendship, which is based on common hostility to the United States’ global leadership.

But the protracted war and the prospect of Putin’s defeat have represented a strategic setback for the Xi-led regime.

In his speech, Wang called on Russia and Ukraine not to allow the war to spill over beyond their borders. Calling the conflict a “Ukrainian crisis”, he also said that Beijing’s priority at the moment is “to facilitate peace negotiations”, and that the Asian country “has made efforts to resolve the problems of all parties in a constructive way”.

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