Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China’s embassy complains to Japan about Taiwan vice president at Abe funeral

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday its embassy in Japan had lodged “stern representations” with the government there about Taiwan Vice President William Lai attending the funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Lai visited Japan in what a Japanese official described as a private visit to pay his respects as a friend of Abe’s, a move that was always likely to upset Beijing which considers democratically ruled Taiwan its own territory with no right to the trappings of a state. Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing, said Taiwan was a part of China and “does not have a so-called vice-president”. “After the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Abe, the Taiwan authorities used the opportunity to engage in political manipulation,” Wang said. “It’s impossible this kind of scheming will succeed.” (https://news.yahoo.com/china-complains-japan-taiwan-vice-082104433.html) Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said Lai was the most senior official to visit Japan since Tokyo broke official ties with Taipei in 1972 and forged relations with Beijing. Abe, gunned down at a campaign rally last week, was a popular figure in Taiwan for his support for the island, and on Monday President Tsai Ing-wen visited the de facto Japanese embassy in Taipei to pay her respects.

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