China accuses British lawmakers of “gross interference” in its internal affairs after a group of MPs visits Taiwan.

The Foreign Affairs Committee members arrived Tuesday to meet high-ranking officials including Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister.

Taiwan is autonomous, but China views it as a separate province that will eventually be united with China.

Beijing was outraged by Nancy Pelosi, a senior US politician’s controversial August visit.

China responded to the visit by holding the largest-ever military exercise in the waters surrounding Taiwan. They also blocked trade with some of the island.

Mrs. Pelosi is the US Speaker of House of Representatives. She is second in similar to the presidency and is the most senior US politician who visited Taiwan in the last 25 years.

She stated at the time that China wouldn’t prevent world leaders or anyone else from going to Taiwan.

According to the Chinese embassy in Britain, Thursday’s visit to Taiwan was made despite Beijing’s “firm opposition”.

A spokesperson for China said that the incident was a flagrant violation and gross interference in China’s internal affairs.

The statement also stated that any attempts to undermine China’s interests would be met with “forceful responses”.

These comments come after Rishi Sunak (UK Prime Minister) made a speech earlier in the week in which stated that the “golden era”, or relationship with China, was over.

Sunak claimed that the earlier decade’s closer economic ties had been “naive”, but he added that China’s global significance cannot be overlooked.

“We acknowledge that China poses a systemic risk to our values, and interests. This challenge grows more acute as China moves towards greater authoritarianism,” said he.

The MPs’ recent visit is one of several incidents that has caused friction in UK-Chinese relations.

The Foreign Affairs Committee, which is independent of the government and is composed of politicians from different political parties, has held discussions over security issues with their Taiwanese counterparts.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted about Mr Wu holding a banquet to welcome the UK delegation. It spoke about “increasing dictatorial threats” as well “worrying matters at home as abroad”.

Their visit is part an investigation into Britain’s shifting economic & political focus towards the Indo-Pacific area following its exit the European Union.

The committee met Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng Chang on Thursday. They will then meet President Tsai-Ing-Wen on Friday.

 

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