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1 Dec, 2022 16:25

China protests ‘flagrant violation’ by UK

Lawmakers' visit to Taiwan is a “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs, says Beijing's embassy in London
China protests ‘flagrant violation’ by UK

The Chinese embassy in London has denounced a visit to Taiwan by the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, calling it a violation of the ‘One China’ principle, in a statement issued on Thursday.

The House of Commons delegation went to Taipei “in disregard of China’s firm opposition,” the embassy said, adding that such a “flagrant violation of the one-China principle and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs” sends a “seriously wrong signal” to separatists on the island.

“Moves of the UK side that undermine China’s interests will be met with forceful responses from the Chinese side,” the embassy added, urging London to stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs. 

The parliamentary delegation is led by the Conservative MP Alicia Kearns. Meeting with Taiwanese premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday, Kearns invited him to visit London “to see more of our people and our culture and our communities and how we seek to represent our communities in parliament,” according to Reuters. The group is scheduled to meet with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen on Friday. 

The British MPs are following in the footsteps of several American delegations that have visited the island, starting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August, in open defiance of China’s warnings. While London and Washington insist they still abide by the ‘One China’ policy enshrined in a series of communiques in Beijing, US lawmakers have been pushing for more weapons deliveries to Taiwan.

Former British PM Liz Truss openly called in April for a “global NATO” to arm the island the same way it was arming Ukraine, in the sole major foreign policy speech of her brief tenure.

Last week’s local elections in Taiwan delivered a stinging defeat to Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party at the hands of the opposition Kuomintang, leading the president to resign as party leader.

The government in Beijing considers Taiwan part of China’s sovereign territory. Since 1949, however, the island has been ruled by the US-backed nationalists, who left the mainland after losing the civil war to the communists.