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Don’t play with fire on Taiwan, China warns US

Beijing: China has warned the US “not to play with fire” on the issue of Taiwan just days after Washington issued new guidelines that will continue to enable US officials to freely meet Taiwanese counterparts, angering Beijing.

The warning from China came on a day when self-ruled Taiwan, viewed by China as a renegade region, said a record number of fighter jets from the mainland flew into its air defense zone on April 12.

China considers Taiwan as a “core” territorial issue and has been aggressively using the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to show off military strength around the island of about 23 million people.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that China has lodged “stern representations” with the US over the guidelines.

China, Zhao said, urges the US “not to play with fire on the Taiwan issue, immediately stop any form of US-Taiwan official contacts, cautiously and appropriately handle the matter, and not send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces so as not to subversively influence and damage Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

Only 15 countries officially recognize Taiwan, and do not have diplomatic ties with Beijing.

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Small cliques will destroy world order: China on Quad

Beijing: China slammed the Quad, saying no “small cliques” should be formed, as it accused some countries of trying to “sow discord” among regional nations by “hyping” the ”China threat” and asserted that they will not succeed.

Quad countries involving the US, India, Australia and Japan held their first virtual summit on March 12 during which President Joe Biden told leaders of the coalition that a “free and open” Indo-Pacific is essential to their countries and vowed that his country was committed to working with its partners and allies in the region to achieve stability.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the virtual summit alongside Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

“Certain countries should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice, refrain from forming closed and exclusive small circles, and do more things that are conducive to solidarity and cooperation among regional countries and regional peace and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.

He was answering a question about the first Leaders’ Summit of the Quad countries and the reported remarks by US National Secretary Advisor Jake Sullivan that the four leaders discussed the challenge posed by China and said all four believed the democracies could help compete with autocracy.

“For quite some time, certain countries have been so keen to exaggerate and hype up the so-called ‘China threat’ to sow discord among regional countries, especially to disrupt their relations with China,” Zhao said.

“However, their actions, running counter to the trend of the times of peace, development and cooperation and the common aspirations of the countries and peoples in the region, will not be welcomed or succeed,” he said.

Zhao said China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.

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Border row: China strikes down third party mediation

Beijing: Stressing that the two neighbors have full-fledged mechanisms and communication channels to iron out their differences via dialogue, China struck down the need for a third party mediation to solve border issues with India.

“Now the situation (at the border) is overall stable and controllable. China and India have a full-fledged border related mechanism and communication channel. We have capability to resolve this issue through dialogue and negotiations. There is no need for intervention of third party,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing.

Zhao’s reaction emerged after Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation along the LAC in Ladakh with US President Donald Trump during a phone conversation on Tuesday.

President Trump offered to mediate between the two Asian giants, which was rejected by the latter.

Meanwhile, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh confirmed that a meeting between senior Indian and Chinese military leaders has been scheduled for June 6.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a nearly month-long standoff in Eastern Ladakh.

Tension in the region started on May 5, when around 200 army personnel from India and China clashed along northern bank of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.

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