A top Chinese diplomat warns of ‘disastrous’ consequences of the US making China an enemy

People's Liberation Army soldiers.

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People’s Liberation Army soldiers.
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Tyrone Siu/Reuters

  • As tensions between the US and China escalate, a top Chinese diplomat on Monday warned the US it would be “stupid” to make China an enemy, saying the consequences would be “disastrous.”
  • This came as the State Department approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan.
  • Taiwan has governed itself for decades, but Beijing views it as a breakaway province and has vowed to retake it.
  • China was enraged by the US arms-sale approval on Monday.

A top Chinese diplomat on Monday warned the US it would be “stupid” to make China an enemy, saying the consequences would be “disastrous.”

Amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington linked to an ongoing trade war, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng at the World Peace Forum in the Chinese capital said, “The economic imbalance, polarization between the rich and poor, the aging of infrastructure – all of those have their own causes, but it’s not because of China. [You] shouldn’t see China as the scapegoat.”

“It’s stupid to see China as [an] enemy, and there will be disastrous consequences to do so,” he added, according to CNN.

Read more: US State Department approves possible $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan in a move that will likely anger China

This came as the Trump administration approved the sale of $2.2 billion worth of arms to Taiwan, enraging the Chinese government.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the sale “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests,” the BBC reported, as the ministry called on the US to “immediately cancel” the transaction.

Taiwan occupies one of the most precarious positions in the world.

Officially known as the Republic of China, Taiwan is an island with roughly 23 million inhabitants off the southern coast of China. Since 1949, Taiwan has governed itself independently, but the People’s Republic of China (Beijing) views it as a breakaway province and has pledged to retake it – by force if it comes to that.

The China-Taiwan feud is one of the most complex political situations worldwide, as only 17 countries recognize Taiwan’s democratic government. The United Nations has frozen Taiwan out and gives full diplomatic recognition to China, known as the People’s Republic of China.

The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan and doesn’t officially support its independence, but is its main arms supplier and is bound to sell it arms for defense via a 1979 law.

In short, though the US is Taiwan’s most crucial ally, Washington does not recognize it as a country.