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China and Taiwan

China and Taiwan

LATEST UPDATE: February 20, 2021 - 3:11pm
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February 20, 2021

Prosecutors say four retired Taiwanese military intelligence officers -- including a major general -- have been indicted for spying for China.

The quartet were charged with developing a spying network and collecting confidential information for Beijing, the Taipei district prosecutors' office says.

The two sides have been spying on each other since the Nationalists fled to the island to set up a rival government in 1949, having lost a civil war on the mainland to the communists. — AFP

January 24, 2021

The United States' commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid", the State Department says late Saturday, as it warned that China's "attempts to intimidate" the island are a threat to regional peace.

The comments are the first from Washington on relations with Taiwan since President Joe Biden's inauguration last week, and came on the same day Taipei reported multiple Chinese jets and bombers had flown into its air defence zone.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price says it "notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbours, including Taiwan" and "urges Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan". —  AFP

January 11, 2021

China on Monday threatens a "counterstrike" against a move by the United States to lift restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan as military tensions grow between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday Washington would lift "complex internal restrictions" on contacts with Taipei by diplomats, after a year of mounting US-Chinese friction on topics including human rights, trade and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beijing says Taiwan is an inviolable part of China to be reclaimed, by force if necessary, and opposes any diplomatic recognition of the democratic island. —  AFP

November 9, 2020

Taiwan on Monday says Chinese "obstruction" had prevented it from attending a key World Health Organization meeting focused on the coronavirus, accusing the global body of prioritizing politics over health.

The self-ruled island of 23 million has seen remarkable success in combatting the pandemic — with only seven deaths and fewer than 600 confirmed cases — as many parts of the world report surging numbers of infections and deaths.

But it is frozen out of the WHO by Beijing, which regards Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to take it by force if necessary.

The WHO's decision not to invite Taiwan to its annual assembly — due to resume virtually on Monday after being cut short by the pandemic in May — was a result of "political considerations", Taipei's foreign ministry says Monday.

"The ministry expresses deep regrets and strong dissatisfaction over China's obstruction of Taiwan's participation," it says in a statement.

"As the world is still under serious threat of the Covid-19 pandemic... it is an irony to the 'health for all' goal under the WHO charter" to exclude Taiwan, it adds. — AFP

September 22, 2020

Taiwan on Tuesday demanded that China "back off" and accused it of threatening peace, after a Beijing official rejected a largely respected marine boundary following recent incursions.

Foreign minister Joseph Wu urged Beijing to "return to the civilised international standards" after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said there was no so-called median line in the Taiwan Strait "as Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory".

Wu told reporters: "The median line has been a symbol of preventing military conflicts and maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait for many years. The Chinese foreign ministry's comment is equivalent of destroying the status quo."

"I call on the international community to condemn the CCP for its dangerous and provocative words and deeds threatening peace... China must back off," he added in a tweet.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory, to be absorbed into the mainland, by force if necessary, even though it has been self-ruled for more than seven decades. — AFP

August 10, 2020

A US cabinet member met Taiwan's president Monday during the highest level visit from the United States since it switched diplomatic recognition from the island to China in 1979.

Health Secretary Alex Azar was greeted by Tsai Ing-wen as the head of a delegation on a visit that has infuriated Beijing, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province. — AFP

August 9, 2020

A senior member of US President Donald Trump's administration landed in Taiwan Sunday for Washington's highest level visit since switching diplomatic recognition to China in 1979, a trip Beijing has condemned.  

During the three-day visit Health Secretary Alex Azar will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, who advocates Taiwan being recognized as a sovereign nation and is loathed by China's leaders. 

Azar is the most senior US cabinet member to visit Taiwan in decades and his visit comes as relations between the world's two biggest economic powers plunge to historic lows. — AFP

January 12, 2020

Chinese state media accuse Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of "dirty tactics" and cheating after she was re-elected with a landslide victory in a stunning rebuke of Beijing's campaign to isolate the self-ruled island. — AFP

December 27, 2019

Taipei's defence ministry says a newly commissioned Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait for a second time Thursday, just weeks before the island goes to polls to elect a new president. 

The ministry says it was fully monitoring the Shandong, China's first domestically built carrier, and accompanying ships as they traversed the strait separating China from self-ruled Taiwan. 

Taiwan's presidential office says in a statement that China had an "international responsibility" to contribute to cross-strait and regional peace and welfare. — AFP

December 26, 2019

A newly commissioned Chinese aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait for a second time Thursday, Taipei's defence ministry said, just weeks before the island goes to polls to elect a new president. 

The ministry said it was fully monitoring the Shandong, China's first domestically built carrier, and accompanying ships as they traversed the strait separating China from self-ruled Taiwan. 

Taiwan's presidential office said in a statement that China had an "international responsibility" to contribute to cross-strait and regional peace and welfare.

Last month Beijing confirmed it had sent the new carrier through the strait as part of routine training, sparking concerns from Washington's de facto embassy in Taiwan. 

At the time, foreign minister Joseph Wu accused China of attempting to intervene in Taiwan's elections, saying "voters won't be intimidated".

The sail-bys come ahead of Taiwan's January 11 presidential elections, with Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen seeking a second term against a challenger who favours warmer ties with China. — AFP

December 12, 2019

Taiwanese prosecutors have launched an investigation into travel agencies and civil groups that reportedly forged documents to help Chinese officials visit Taiwan, sparking concerns over potential national security breaches.

Taipei district prosecutors office say ten suspects were questioned and five locations raided on suspicion of falsifying identities for Chinese citizens to visit the island on "professional exchange" permits.

Prosecutors declined to disclose details of an ongoing probe. — AFP

Follow this page for updates on conflict between China and Taiwan. 

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