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China reprimands lawmakers from South Korea and Japan for visiting Taiwan

China on Tuesday criticized South Korean and Japanese lawmakers for visiting Taiwan despite strong opposition, scolding the two neighbors for attending Taiwan’s “so-called leader inauguration ceremony.”

Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te, considered a “separatist” by China, was officially sworn in on Monday after winning January’s elections.

China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, resolutely opposes the visits, its embassies in South Korea and Japan said, and has made solemn representations to the two Northeast Asian countries.

An embassy spokesperson in South Korea said the move is contrary to the strategic cooperative partnership between China and South Korea, while in Japan the embassy said the visit seriously contradicts the spirit of Sino-Japanese commitments.

China called on South Korea to take “practical actions” to protect the overall interests of bilateral relations, while earnestly calling on Japan to stop “provocative political manipulation” of the Taiwan issue.

He also told Japan, which joined the United States in congratulating Lai, to avoid causing further damage to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and to their bilateral relations.

On Monday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi called Taiwan “an extremely important partner and friend of our country” and that Japan’s position is to further deepen cooperation and exchanges at the non-governmental level.

Ties between Japan and China have been strained of late, strained by a number of issues, including clashes over each other’s maritime claims in the East China Sea, as well as China’s actions against the Philippines’ claims in the South China Sea .

China, South Korea and Japan are expected to hold a trilateral summit next week in Seoul.

Source: Terra

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