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At Abe's burial, China complains to Japan about the vice president of Taiwan

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  In regards to Taiwan Vice President William Lai attending the burial of former Japanese Prime Minister S...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -  In regards to Taiwan Vice President William Lai attending the burial of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Foreign Ministry of China reported on Tuesday that its embassy in Japan had made "severe protests" to the administration there.

Lai paid his respects to Abe in Japan during what a Japanese official described as a private visit. This action was always going to enrage Beijing, which views Taiwan as its own territory without the right to the trappings of a state.

At a routine press briefing in Beijing, ministry spokeswoman Wang Wenbin stated that Taiwan was a part of China and "does not have a so-called vice-president."

Wang claimed that the Taiwanese government took advantage of the chance to engage in political manipulation following the murder of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe. This kind of planning cannot possibly succeed.

Lai, according to Taiwan's official Central News Agency, was the highest-ranking official to travel to Japan since Tokyo severed diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1972 and established ties with Beijing.

Abe, who was fatally shot at a political rally last week, was well-liked in Taiwan for his support of the island, and on Monday, President Tsai Ing-wen paid her condolences at the de facto Japanese embassy in Taipei.

According to the Central News Agency, Lai, who may run for president in the upcoming elections in 2024, will return to Taiwan later on Tuesday.

Lai has been assuming a more significant international role in the lead-up to the election, in which Tsai cannot run again due to term constraints.

He travelled to Honduras in January, a country that is an ally of Taiwan diplomatically. On the way home, he stopped in the US, where he virtually met Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives.

While in Honduras, he also had a brief conversation with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. This was a rare interaction that was extremely symbolic and angered Beijing at a time when tensions with Washington were running high.

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