China summons Japan’s ambassador over Abe’s Taiwan comments

China has summoned Japan's ambassador in response to comments about Taiwan by Tokyo's ex-premier.

China has summoned Japan’s ambassador in response to comments about Taiwan by Tokyo’s ex-premier.

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday the move was a response to a comment by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said publicly that Japan and the United States would not stand by if China attacked Taiwan.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Hua Chunying said Abe’s remarks at a meeting with Ambassador Shui Hideo on Wednesday evening were “irresponsible” and a “brutal intervention” into China‘s internal affairs.

Japan should not “underestimate the determination and strength of the Chinese people,” she said.

Abe had said in a video speech at an event hosted by a Taiwanese think tank, that an emergency for Taiwan would also be seen as an emergency for the US-Japan alliance, and that Beijing should not misjudge this.

Abe also said China would severely damage itself economically if it invaded Taiwan.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory and opposes any form of official diplomatic contact between Taiwan and other countries.

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