Singapore, Philippines Rebuked by China for Congratulating Taiwan’s  President-Elect


In response to the recent presidential elections in Taiwan held on January 13, 2024, China has expressed strong dissatisfaction and opposition to countries that have congratulated Taiwan’s president-elect, Lai Ching-te.

The Chinese government summoned the ambassadors of the Philippines among the nations that extended their congratulations to Lai, to register their protest. China considers Taiwan as an integral part of its territory and has repeatedly emphasized its intention to unify the island with the mainland, even if it requires the use of force. It staunchly opposes any formal recognition of Taiwan by foreign powers.

After media queries regarding the elections in the Taiwan region, the Singaporean Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed their approval and congratulations.

In response, China swiftly conveyed serious concerns to Singapore.

china-taiwan-singapore-spokesperson-Mao- Ning
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning

Singaporean leaders have previously emphasized that the Taiwan issue is a sensitive matter for China. China acknowledges this stance and expects Singapore to adhere to the one-China policy and maintain the overall amicable relationship between the two countries through tangible actions.

China has immediately made solemn démarches to Singapore. Singaporean leaders stated on multiple occasions that the Taiwan question is “a deep red line” for China. China values this statement and hopes that Singapore will strictly abide by the one-China principle and uphold the overall friendly relations between China and Singapore with concrete actions.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning

The spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, stated that anyone violating the “One China” principle is interfering in China’s internal affairs and infringing upon its sovereignty. Mao further added that such actions would face joint opposition from the Chinese people and the international community.

China has lodged solemn demarches, or diplomatic statements of protest, with these countries.

Singapore, which shares a longstanding friendship with Taiwan, welcomed the successful conclusion of the elections and congratulated president-elect Dr. William Lai and his party on their victory. Singapore reiterated its commitment to the “One China” policy and emphasized the importance of peaceful development in cross-strait relations.

The Philippines, on the other hand, faced strong rebuke from China after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr congratulated Lai on his election victory. China called Marcos’s remarks a serious violation of the “One China” principle and a breach of political commitments made by the Philippines.

In response, China urged the Philippines to immediately clarify its position and refrain from any actions that may support separatist forces seeking Taiwan independence.

In reaffirming its “One China policy,” the Philippines stated that the congratulatory message from President Marcos was aimed at acknowledging the mutual interests between the Philippines and Taiwan. The Philippines expressed gratitude to Taiwan for hosting approximately 200,000 overseas Filipino workers and holding a successful democratic process, while restating its commitment to the “One China” principle.

Meanwhile, other countries, including the United States and Japan, have also congratulated Lai on his victory. They have called for a peaceful resolution of tensions in the Taiwan Strait and emphasized the importance of dialogue, trust-building, and cooperation between China and Taiwan.

Reactions from various countries to Taiwan’s elections highlight the complexities surrounding the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty and the delicate nature of international relations in the region.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry thanked President Marcos for his message, citing shared values such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. It expressed its commitment to deepen cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines.

China’s firm response to countries acknowledging Taiwan’s election results underscores its determination to maintain the “One China” principle and safeguard its core interests, while urging nations to adhere to its position on Taiwan’s status.

The official response from Mao Ning regarding the US senior delegation meeting with Lai Ching-te and Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Mao Ning: The elections in Taiwan are the affairs of a region in China. China firmly opposes the US having any form of official interaction with Taiwan and interfering in Taiwan affairs in any way or under any pretext. We urge the US to have a clear understanding of the extreme complexity and sensitivity of the Taiwan question, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, and act seriously in accordance with the commitments that have been reaffirmed multiple times by the US leaders to not supporting “Taiwan independence”, “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, and not seeking to use the Taiwan question as a tool to contain China. The US needs to exercise extreme prudence in handling Taiwan-related issues, and must not obscure and hollow out the one-China principle in any form or send any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

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