AP

China lashes out at visit by UK trade minister to Taiwan

Nov 6, 2022, 11:41 AM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 1:45 am

File - Greg Hands, the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, pose for a photograph during a visit t...

File - Greg Hands, the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, pose for a photograph during a visit to Inmarsat in London, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. China lashed out Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, at a visit by Britain’s Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands to Taiwan, the latest in string of foreign officials to defy Beijing’s warnings over contact the self-governing island republic. (Anthony Devlin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Anthony Devlin/Pool Photo via AP, File)

BEIJING (AP) — China lashed out Monday over a visit to Taiwan by British Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands, the latest foreign official to defy Beijing’s warnings over contacts with the self-governing island republic.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and threatens to annex it by force. It also seeks to isolate it diplomatically, requiring governments that it has formal relations with to respect its “one-China” principle.

The U.K. should “earnestly respect China’s sovereignty, uphold the one-China principle, stop any forms of official contacts with Taiwan and stop sending wrong signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing.

The British government said Hands was on a two-day visit during which he would meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and co-host the 25th annual trade talks between the sides. China has imposed visa bans and other forms of retaliation against foreign officials and governments that extend contacts to Taiwan.

Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with just 14 nations and is excluded from the United Nations and other major multinational groupings at Beijing’s insistence. Yet, its thriving democracy, high-tech economy and strategic location in the Asia-Pacific have drawn strong support in spite of Beijing’s condemnations and threats.

Following a visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House and second in line to the presidency, China fired missiles over Taiwan into the Western Pacific and positioned aircraft and ships nearby in a virtual blockade of the island.

Such moves appear to have had little effect and visits from European and North American elected officials have continued.

Referring to Tsai’s ruling party and its strong backing from the U.S. and other Western democracies, Zhao warned Taiwan officials that “their attempt to seek independence with foreign support is doomed to fail.”

Beijing’s close ties with Moscow following the Russian invasion of Ukraine have complicated matters further.

Latvia and Estonia left a Chinese-backed forum aimed at boosting relations with Eastern European countries following China’s boosting of its relations with Russia. China has refused to criticize Russia over its attack on Ukraine and has condemned economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West.

Russia’s struggles in Ukraine have meanwhile refocused attention on China’s possible military intentions toward Taiwan. That has prompted a new emphasis on the island’s fighting forces and technology to thwart Chinese aggression.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

15 hours ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

16 hours ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

3 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

3 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

5 days ago

China lashes out at visit by UK trade minister to Taiwan