The Chinese ambassador, Zheng Zeguang, said British politicians should not “dance to the tune of the United States” at a press conference in London on Wednesday.
“It is … interference in China’s internal affairs that will inevitably lead to severe consequences in China-UK relations… We call on the UK side to abide by its own commitment … and not to underestimate the extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, and not to follow the US’s footsteps.”
“As I said, those who play with fire will get burnt,” Zheng said, reiterating the warning by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, who had said the same to Joe Biden last week over a phone call.
Why is the Chinese government furious?
Zheng’s statement came after Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday. She became the most senior US democrat to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
The US House speaker’s visit infuriated the Beijing government. China has issued threats and announced military operations in retaliation. The government stated it will surround the island and blockade the island for four days after Pelosi’s visit.
The Chinese ambassador’s comments come during rumors that the UK is planning its visit to Taiwan later this year.
The Taiwan issue
Zeguang further opposed the plan of British MPs to visit Taiwan. He said they would underestimate the “extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan issue” by visiting the island.
He pointed out that some British politicians’ attempts to help “defend Taiwan” would be a “serious violation of the one-China principle and the [Sino-UK] joint communique”.
“The nature of the Taiwan question is completely different from Ukraine”, he added. He argued that the matter of “decoupling” between the UK and the Chinese economy is “self-defeating”, he added.
The Chinese envoy added that the move would eventually undermine the interests of consumers in the UK amid the rising inflation.