The Chinese ambassador to the US warned on Friday that the two countries could face a possible “military conflict” over the status of Taiwan.
Ambassador Qin Gang made the bold claim in a interview with NPR on Thursday, accusing the US of encouraging Taiwan to seek independence.
“If the Taiwanese authorities, encouraged by the United States, continue to walk the road to independence, it will most likely involve China and the United States, the two major countries, in a military conflict,” Qin said.
The issue of Taiwan is “the largest tinderbox between China and the United States,” he said.
China has asserted its claim to the democratic island nation as it is a breakaway province.
Earlier this week, 39 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s airspace in a show of force, leading to distorted activation of Taiwanese jets and anti-aircraft missiles. The testy raid is the largest since October, when China allowed nearly 150 flights over Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The State Department said in a statement to The Post on Monday that it was “concerned about the PRC’s provocative military activity near Taiwan”, saying it was “destabilizing, risking miscalculation and damaging regional peace and stability.” undermines”.
“The US commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and helps maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” the ministry added. “We will continue to stand alongside our friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security and values. We will continue to deepen our ties with democratic Taiwan.”
Last week, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chief member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told reporters that he believes China will launch an invasion of Taiwan sometime after the Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin next Friday.
In the one-on-one interview with NPR — Qin’s first since taking up his post in Washington, DC, last July — the ambassador discussed mounting tensions in the region, as well as the upcoming Olympics.
Qin said China’s relationship with the US is “the most important” despite mounting tensions following Washington’s decision to participate in a diplomatic boycott of the games in protest of human rights violations, particularly genocidal actions against Uyghur Muslims and in the northwest province. Xinjiang.
Qin denied that there was any such genocide.
“The real condition is that Uyghurs, like other ethnic groups of people, enjoy a happy life,” he claimed. “They enjoy the rights and freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of China. They are members of the great family of the Chinese nation. This so-called genocide or forced labor – these are big lies of the century. There is no genocide at all.”