China tells US it will not be scared off by sanctions over Taiwan

  • Foreign vice-minister Le Yucheng tells forum that ‘unimaginable consequences’ will result if Washington pushes the issue
  • Le also denies that China had advance knowledge of or supported the invasion of Ukraine and blames America for fuelling conflict

The United States will face “unimaginable consequences” if it plays the Taiwan card and Beijing will not be intimidated by sanctions like those on Russia, a Chinese foreign vice-minister has said.

Le Yucheng told an online security forum on Friday evening that it was “ridiculous” to blame China for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and accused the US of sacrificing Ukraine for its own geopolitical interests.

China has been criticised for not condemning Russia’s invasion, and the US and its allies have expressed concern over the security of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province be to reunified with the mainland – by force if necessary.

In response to American warnings that China would face similar sanctions to those placed on Russia if it attacked Taiwan, Le said “China must be unified, and will be unified”, and sanctions and isolation “could absolutely not scare China”.

“What kind of storms haven’t we weathered in the more than 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China?” he said, adding that in the past few years the US had already taken coercive measures – such as tariffs, reducing cooperation, arresting people on espionage charges – but was not able to break China.

“Not only has China not collapsed, but we are still thriving with each passing day. What else do we have to fear?”

Le Yucheng made the comments at a security forum in Beijing. Photo: AP

Le also told the event, organised by the China Public Diplomacy Association and Renmin University, that Taiwan was an internal affair and must not be compared to Ukraine, saying “some people emphasise respect for a country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when talking about Ukraine, but blatantly step on the red line of ‘one China’ and support Taiwan independence”.

“Recently, the United States has been flexing its muscles at the door of China, putting up together various anti-China circles, and even making a big fuss about the Taiwan issue to test the red line,” he said.

“Isn’t this a version of Nato’s eastward expansion in the Asia-Pacific region? If it is allowed to go on, the consequences will be unimaginable and will eventually push the Asia-Pacific into a fire pit.”

Defending Beijing’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine War, Le said China was “not a party to the Ukraine issue, let alone a perpetrator”.

Le said that it was a distortion to interpret the line “there is no forbidden zone for cooperation” in a China-Russia joint statement issued just before the war as proof China knew of Russia’s plans beforehand and supported it.

“That is just a normal statement … In fact, we talk about friendship with all countries, and we never set limits on cooperation with anyone, nor do we need to,” he said.

He also accused the US of failing Europe, adding: “Obviously, what they care about is not peace talks to end the war, not the lives of the Ukrainian people, but to use Ukraine as consumables and cannon fodder to bring down Russia, and use the lives of Ukrainians to satisfy their own great power ambitions and achieve their own geostrategic goals.

“By sacrificing Ukraine, they are weakening Russia, controlling Europe, and continuing hegemony, what a multi-benefit deal. No wonder they are so happy with it.”

Le also said sanctions undermined the international economy and ultimately destabilised the whole world.

“Affected by [US sanctions], multiple crises such as global food, energy, finance, and supply chains have emerged, and the international political and economic security order is in danger,” he said.

Author: Liu Zhen, SCMP

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