Chinese authorities warned world leaders on Saturday that anyone standing in the way of their desire to reunite with the autonomous island of Taiwan will be “crushed by the wheels of history.” China reaffirmed its commitment to its claim to Taiwan.
Although the language was stern, it was perfectly acceptable for Chinese leadership.
“Only when China is fully reunified can there be true peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, said at the U.N. General Assembly. He said Beijing would “take the most forceful steps to oppose external interference.”
China fiercely asserts its claim over Taiwan, which broke away from the mainland in 1949 and now has its own functioning government. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, recently paid Beijing a visit, which significantly heightened relations between Washington and Beijing.
Although direct, the wording echoed China’s customary vehemence regarding the island; its claim is frequently brought up in important international speeches. Taiwan is a key component of Chinese foreign policy, thus Wang’s appearance—rather than that of his superior, Chinese President Xi Jinping—was a hint that the speech might not have been particularly significant.
“The PRC government is the sole government representing all of China,” Wang said, referring to China’s formal name, the People’s Republic of China. “The one-China principle has become a basic norm in international relations.”
China consistently applies pressure to every nation, business, or mapmaker that even suggests Taiwan might be an independent country. Despite the fact that some U.N. members still maintain diplomatic ties with Taipei rather than Beijing, its power has isolated the island’s administration.
Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, talked passionately about allowing Taiwan to boost its profile in international institutions, notably the World Health Organization, on Saturday at the U.N. gathering, just a few speakers before Wang.
“How can we stand askance, in relative silence and contented inaction, in disregard of Taiwan’s legitimate right to exist in accord with the wishes and will of the Taiwanese people?” he asked.
Wang’s attendance at the United Nations General Assembly in person in 2022 follows two years of Wang giving remote talks during the pandemic era. This year’s general assembly was skipped by both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi. American President Joe Biden addressed on Wednesday.