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China ire as Japan’s Abe talks Taiwan

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Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. AFP

China ire as Japan’s Abe talks Taiwan

Beijing on December 1 summoned Japanese ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi over former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s “extremely erroneous remarks” on Taiwan that “grossly interfered” in China’s internal affairs, the foreign ministry said on December 2, as tensions rise over the island.

With record numbers of mainland military aircraft flying into Taiwan’s so-called “air defence zone” in recent months, Western allies like the US and Japan are increasingly speculating that Beijing could move to reunify the island, even if they consider it unlikely for now.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) views Taiwan as Chinese territory and has vowed to seize the island one day.

In a video speech to a forum organised by a Taiwanese think-tank on December 1, Abe said an emergency for Taiwan authorities would be one for Japan as well, warning that “people in Beijing, particularly President Xi Jinping, should not misjudge that”.

“A military adventure would be a path leading to economic suicide,” he said.

“In history, Japan has launched a war of aggression against China, committing heinous crimes against the Chinese,” said assistant foreign minister Hua Chunying.

“It has no right or power to make irresponsible remarks on the Taiwan issue.”

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