China reprimands parliamentarians from South Korea and Japan for visiting Taiwan

China reprimands parliamentarians from South Korea and Japan for visiting Taiwan

China on Tuesday criticized South Korean and Japanese lawmakers for visiting Taiwan despite strong opposition, and rebuked the two neighbors for attending Taiwan's “alleged leader's inauguration ceremony.”

Taiwanese President Lai Ching-tei, whom China considers a “separatist,” was officially sworn in on Monday after winning the elections that took place in January.

China's embassies in South Korea and Japan said China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, strongly opposes the visits and has lodged formal protests with the two Northeast Asian countries.

An embassy spokesman in South Korea said the move conflicts with the strategic cooperative partnership between China and South Korea, while in Japan, the embassy said the visit seriously conflicts with the spirit of Sino-Japanese commitments.

China called on South Korea to take “practical measures” to safeguard the comprehensive interests of bilateral relations, while seriously asking Japan to stop “provocative political manipulation” of the Taiwan issue.

He also asked Japan, which joined the United States in congratulating Lai, to avoid causing further damage to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and bilateral relations.

On Monday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi described Taiwan as a “very important partner and friend of our country” and that Japan's position is to further deepen cooperation and exchanges at the non-governmental level.

Relations between Japan and China have been strained recently, over a range of issues including clashes over mutual maritime claims in the East China Sea, as well as China's actions against the Philippines' claims in the South China Sea.

China, South Korea and Japan are expected to hold a trilateral summit next week in Seoul.

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