China says Liz Truss trip to show ‘solidarity’ with Taiwan will raise tensions ‘sooner rather than later’
- Truss will give speech on Taiwan visit next week and is expected to meet officials
- Victor Gao said trip will ‘further alienate relations between China and Britain’
Liz Truss’s trip to Taiwan next week will make it more likely that China will ‘exercise jurisdiction’ over the self-governed island, a Chinese Communist Party spokesman said last night.
The former prime minister will give a speech to show ‘solidarity’ with the island in the face of ‘increasingly aggressive behaviour’ from China. She is also expected to meet Taiwanese government officials.
But last night Victor Gao, a media spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party, suggested the visit could raise tensions.
Asked if it would increase the likelihood of war, he told LBC: ‘I would say more accurately, that illicit, illegitimate steps by people like Liz Truss in making illicit, illegitimate visits to Taiwan will make it more likely that China will exercise jurisdiction over Taiwan sooner rather than later.’
He added: ‘I’m pretty sure Liz Truss will live to see the unification of Taiwan with the motherland, with China.
Liz Truss will give a speech on her trip to Taiwan next week to show ‘solidarity’ with the island in the face of ‘increasingly aggressive behaviour’ from China. She is also expected to meet Taiwanese government officials (File photo)
‘And I hope she will not eternally regret that she made the wrong decision, which damaged the fundamental interests of the British people, inflicting damage on China/UK relations and turning herself into a laughing stock because she will be held responsible for standing in the opposite direction against the peaceful reunification of China.’
He also said the trip will ‘further alienate relations between China and Britain’.
‘Her proposed visit to Taiwan will only achieve one goal – to further alienate relations between China and Britain, hurting the fundamental interest of the British people,’ he told LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr.
‘This visit will have no constructive purpose. I hope Liz Truss will no longer damage the fundamental interests of the British people. And she should know, decency and respect for the British people, British fundamental interests, rather than engaging in brinkmanship in damaging the reputation of Britain and undermining China/UK relations.’
Last night Victor Gao, a media spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party, suggested the visit could raise tensions (File photo)
Taiwan and China split in 1949 following a civil war that ended with the Communist Party in control of the mainland. Taiwan has never been part of the People’s Republic of China, but Beijing says it must unite with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Since leaving No 10, Ms Truss has joined calls from Tory MPs urging Rishi Sunak to avoid engaging with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
By contrast, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has preached a ‘constructive’ and ‘robust’ relationship with the superpower. Announcing her trip this week, Ms Truss said: ‘Taiwan is a beacon of freedom and democracy.
‘I’m looking forward to showing solidarity with the Taiwanese people in person in the face of increasingly aggressive behaviour and rhetoric from Beijing.’
The announcement came after senior Tories expressed anger at the Foreign Secretary’s decision to meet Chinese vice-president Han Zheng – who oversaw the crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong in 2019 – after he attended the King’s Coronation.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was up to individual MPs to choose where they travel. ‘Our long-standing position on Taiwan has not changed,’ he added.
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