China is outraged when Japan’s Prime Minister refers to Taiwan as a “country.”

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China is outraged when Japan’s Prime Minister refers to Taiwan as a “country.”

After Japan’s prime minister appeared to offend China by referring to Taiwan as a country on Wednesday, the Chinese government has launched a diplomatic protest.

Yoshihide Suga, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, made the statements while meeting with opposition leaders in Japan’s legislature for the first time. Taiwan, along with Australia and New Zealand, was listed as a country that had implemented more stringent efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The prime minister’s remarks in the National Diet were carried on national television, and China’s increasingly nationalistic social media population quickly demanded a strong response from the government for Suga’s allegedly incorrect word choice.

At a regular news briefing on Thursday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed Suga “violated Japan’s long-standing vow not to consider Taiwan as a country.”

China has “lodged solemn representations” with Tokyo, Wang added, expressing its “deep unhappiness with the erroneous remarks.” “China demands that Japan issue an immediate clarification to repair the damage that has already been done and ensure that a similar situation does not occur again,” he added.

Wang urged on Tokyo to “earnestly maintain its commitment, be cautious with its words and actions, and not to compromise China’s sovereignty in any way” as the issue of Taiwan “concerns the political core of China-Japan relations.”

In 1972, Japan severed diplomatic connections with Taiwan and established formal relations with the People’s Republic of China, seven years before the US.

The Japanese government expressed “understanding” and “respect” for China’s claim that Taiwan is part of its territory as part of the diplomatic accord. Tokyo has maintained this posture while insisting on maintaining an unofficial relationship with Taipei.

The ambiguous posture, like the United States’ “one-China” policy, which “acknowledges” but does not recognize or endorse China’s position, allows for a range of engagements with democratic Taiwan.

According to a report in the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, Tokyo officials refer to Taiwan as a “region” rather than a “nation.”

However, opposition leader Yukio Edano of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan used the word “country” while referring to Taiwan during Wednesday’s Diet session, according to the newspaper.

Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s Foreign Minister, said the same thing on June 3 while talking about Tokyo’s donation of 1.24 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to. This is a condensed version of the information.

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