The Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom (UK) has accused the British government of violating the principles of international relations. This follows a meeting between British Deputy Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, Tom Tugendhat, and Taiwan’s Minister of Digital Technology, Audrey Tang.
In a statement, an official representative of the Chinese Embassy in London stated, “The British side allowed a certain person from Taiwan to visit the United Kingdom and arranged a meeting with a British official. This action is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the basic norms of international relations.”
The Chinese diplomat has also called on London to cease official communications with the Taiwanese authorities. The embassy has also issued a warning that any actions aimed at undermining China’s interests will be responded to. The meeting with Taiwan’s technology minister was seen as a major diplomatic misstep, a clear deviation from the accepted norms which uphold the ‘One-China’ policy.
The incident marks yet another tension point in Sino-British relations, demonstrating the complex geopolitical landscape. As such, the events will be closely watched by international stakeholders for potential impact on diplomatic ties and global technology collaborations.
China considers democratically governed Taiwan as part of its territory and fiercely objects to perceived foreign interference with the island.
“It sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’ and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this.”
Britain only has formal diplomatic relations with Beijing, but maintains a de facto embassy in Taipei. Although junior British ministers hold talks with their Taiwanese counterparts, the convention was that senior British ministers do not meet with Taiwanese officials.