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In November 2019, China warned the US to stay out of the Hong Kong dispute with a coded message that signifies war in Beijing. The Chinese regime told Washington to “stop meddling in Hong Kong’s internal affairs” before saying “don’t say we didn’t warn you!” – which is a diplomatic term usually reserved by Beijing to signal the start of an armed conflict. It added that American politicians were “the enemy of all Chinese people”.
In Hong Kong, protestors pushing for democracy and the protection of the territory’s freedoms have been met with heavy-handed police responses and increased limitations imposed by China’s government.
Hong Kong was granted special freedoms in the handover agreement between the UK and China in 1997, but demonstrators have pushed back against gradual infringements of these conditions, such as interference into elections and the extradition of its citizens to stand trial on the mainland.
But this is not the only issue attracting tension between China and Western powers, as the US and other countries seek to protect Taiwan from similar aggression.
China sees the Island as a breakaway province, and has pushed for reunification.
However, in January, a separatist candidate convincingly won the Taiwanese election, as President Tsai Ing-wen was reelected with an anti-Beijing message.
She warned Xi Jinping’s regime that China needs to “face reality” and show the island “respect” amid an ongoing row over its independence.
This message has not reached Beijing however, as reports suggest they are sending ships to Taiwan in an uptick of aggression.
The two vessels are taking part in war games near the Pratas Islands, playing into fears that a Taiwan invasion could be around the corner.
The aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shandong are currently in Bohai Bay in the Yellow Sea on a combat readiness mission before the massive ships head into the war games.
The move comes after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed Beijing’s desire to “reunify” with self-ruled Taiwan, an apparent policy shift.
Also worrying for the Island is China’s removal of the word “peaceful” from its Taiwan document.
International Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Hartcher, warned this week that the coronavirus pandemic has enabled China to pursue its goals in various parts of Asia as opponents around the world still deal with the crisis.
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The journalist told Sky News Australia: “China has got on top of its COVID-19 problem – the rest of the world is still battling with it.
“This is China’s moment to drive its advantage home.
“You see it with its foreign policy, you see its reactive, diplomatic push against countries around the world.”
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