China slams Taiwan over foreign minister's comments in CBC interview

·2 min read
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused Taiwan of 'clumsy political manipulation' after Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu gave an interview to CBC News calling on fellow democracies to voice more support for Taiwan in the face of an increasingly hostile China. (Andy Wong/The Associated Press - image credit)
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused Taiwan of 'clumsy political manipulation' after Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu gave an interview to CBC News calling on fellow democracies to voice more support for Taiwan in the face of an increasingly hostile China. (Andy Wong/The Associated Press - image credit)

A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry accused Taiwan of "clumsy political manipulation" and "grandstanding" after Taiwan's foreign minister gave an interview to CBC News which called on other democracies to support Taiwan publicly in the face of an increasingly hostile Beijing.

"Under the guise of so-called democracy and freedom, the Taiwan authorities have repeatedly taken advantage of Hong Kong affairs to maliciously slander and denigrate the mainland," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian in a press conference Wednesday.

"It's real purpose is to disrupt Hong Kong and seek 'Taiwan independence.' Its clumsy political manipulation for grandstanding will not succeed, and will only invite humiliation on itself."

In an exclusive Canadian interview broadcast Monday, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told CBC News Network's Power & Politics that Taiwan looks at the dismantling of freedoms in Hong Kong as a sign of Chinese expansionism.

"If you look at the Chinese actions, it doesn't stop in Hong Kong. Look at Chinese military activities in the East China Sea and Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. What we see is an authoritarian regime trying to expand its influence beyond the first island chain," Wu told host David Common. "In the Chinese expansion, Taiwan stands on the front line."

Taiwan has been sounding the alarm about China's military actions this year. China has flown warplanes into Taiwan's air defence identification zone and deployed an aircraft carrier group near the island for exercises in April — drills that China said will be conducted on a regular basis going forward.

"Under these kinds of circumstances, we hope fellow democracies can voice more in support for Taiwan, especially looking at Taiwan's position as a frontline state and showing support for Taiwan being a democracy," said Wu.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day be incorporated into mainland China under the "one country, two systems" framework — a proposition the island democracy rejects.

"Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory and there is no so-called 'foreign minister' of Taiwan," Zhao said Wednesday.