China’s foreign minister said Thursday the United States will “face an unbearable price” over its actions towards the self-ruled island of Taiwan, in Beijing’s latest threat over the flashpoint island.

Tensions between China and the US have soared in recent years over issues including human rights, trade and technological competition, with Taiwan emerging as a major flashpoint.

US-made planes in Taiwan
The upgraded US-made F-16 V fighters displayed at a ceremony at the Chiayi Air Force in southern Taiwan on November 18, 2021. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP

China claims the democratic island of Taiwan as its own territory, and has vowed to seize it one day by force if necessary.

Although most countries have chosen to formally recognise Beijing over Taipei, many have retained strong unofficial links with the latter, which China bristles at.  

In an interview with state broadcaster CCTV and official news agency Xinhua broadcast Thursday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that Washington’s interference could lead to a dangerous situation.

Wang Yi
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: United Nations/Loey Felipe.

“The US violated the promises made when China and the US established diplomatic relations, condoned and encouraged ‘Taiwan independence’ forces, and tried to distort and hollow out the one-China principle,” Wang Yi said.

“This will not only bring Taiwan into an extremely dangerous situation, but also cause the US to face an unbearable price.”

In a snub to China, the US invited Taiwan to its Democracy Summit earlier this month.

US President Joe Biden last month described Taiwan as “independent” — but he later clarified his remarks, confirming there was no change in US policy towards Taiwan.

Summit for Democracy
US President Joe Biden (left) in the Summit for Democracy. Photo: Supplied.

Under the Taiwan Act, the United States does not recognise Taiwan’s independence, yet commits to helping the island defend itself.

Beijing regards any formal declaration of an “independent” Taiwan as a provocation and has repeatedly threatened consequences for countries who support Taipei in its self-determination.

In recent months, the Chinese military has mounted an increasingly aggressive series of sea and air military operations near the island, conducting military drills near the Taiwan Strait following a visit by a group of American lawmakers last month.

In recent years China has stepped up pressure to isolate Taiwan internationally.

Earlier this month, Nicaragua switched its diplomatic allegiance to China in a blow to Taiwan, which now only counts 14 remaining allies globally.

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