China Warns Biden and Denies Genocide

China has warned President Joe Biden to reverse his predecessor Donald Trump’s policy in Taiwan whilst denying Uygur Muslim genocide and supporting continuing control of Hong Kong.

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has warned Biden against following Trump’s ‘dangerous practice’ of supporting Taiwan at the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature. The island democracy split from the mainland in 1949 although Beijing continues to claim it as Chinese territory.

Although the United States has no formal relations with Taiwan it has strong informal links. Trump sent Cabinet officials to Taiwan in a show of support, angering Beijing. Wang has said the Chinese government ‘[urges] the new U.S administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue’ and has warned against ‘playing with fire’ in relation to continuing American-Taiwanese relations.

The American State Department responded that the U.S. would continue ‘deepening our unofficial ties with democratic Taiwan’ although Biden has stated he wishes to build more civil relations with mainland China. Beijing has given no indication on the consequences if America does not follow demands but has threatened to invade Taiwan if she declares full independence from the mainland or delays unification talks.

In the news conference, Wang defended increased control of Hong Kong saying the changes will protect the ‘rights of Hong Kong residents and the legitimate interests of foreign investors.’

Wang also rejected accusations of the genocide of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xianjiang, claiming the government is trying to prevent extremism. Wang called the claims ‘absurd’ and a ‘lie’ blaming ‘anti-china forces’ which he accused of trying to ‘undermine the security and stability of Xinjiang and hinder China’s development.’ Human rights researchers have said more than 1 million people have been sent to detention camps in the region.

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Aislinn Wright

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September 2021
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