China lodges complaint over South Korean President's 'erroneous' Taiwan comment

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Office in Seoul. Reuters

Beijing: China has lodged a formal complaint against South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol over his “erroneous” remarks about Taiwan.

Relations between Beijing and Seoul have gone bitter ever since Yeol said in a Reuters interview that tensions between China and Taiwan are a “global issue” similar to North Korea and blamed the heightened tensions on “attempts to change the status quo by force”.

Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong was ordered on Thursday to make a “solemn representation” to the South Korean ambassador over Yoon’s comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has informed.

Sun told the ambassador that Yoon’s remarks were “totally unacceptable” and expressed “strong dissatisfaction,” the ministry said.

China’s complaint Yoon comes ahead of his visit to key ally US, which has always condemned China’s territorial claims over Taiwan.

The Taiwan question is a matter “belonging to the Chinese themselves and no force can be allowed to interfere,” Sun said, urging Seoul to “adhere to the One-China Principle and be careful in words and actions relating to the Taiwan issue”.

Dismissing the comparison between the Taiwan issue and tensions on the Korean Peninsula, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticised Yoon’s remarks.

This prompted South Korea’s foreign ministry on Thursday to berate China for its “serious diplomatic discourtesy”.

Tensions have escalated in the Taiwan Strait in recent years, with China launching military exercises earlier this month after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visited the United States.

With inputs from agencies

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