One day after Taiwan elected a president who favors independence, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, has said that Taiwan is a part of China and independence “will never be possible”.
Wang made the comments on Sunday Jan. 14 during a joint news conference in Cairo after meeting with Egyptian preident Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
“No matter what the election results are, it cannot change the basic fact that there is only one China in the world. Taiwan is part of China,” he said.
He added that it also won’t change the fact that the international community adheres to the One China principle as the general consensus.
“Taiwan has never been a country, not in the past and certainly not in the future,” Wang said. “Taiwan independence has never been possible, not in the past, and definitely never in the future.”
He also said that anyone in Taiwan who “plots” Taiwanese independence will be “severely punished by history and law”.
On Saturday Jan. 13, people in Taiwan elected current vice president William Lai from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which favors independence, as its new president.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has called Lai “a destroyer of peace”, but Lai has pledged to maintain peace and stability between Taiwan and China as a priority.
In his victory speech, he said he would maintain the status quo and was open to dialogue with China to achieve peace.
Lai’s victory comes as China has increased both political and military pressure on Taiwan over recent months.
Since the last election in 2020, Chinese president Xi Jinping also said that he intended to peacefully seize Taiwan — which China claims as its territory — but would not rule out the use of force.