China Warns After Lai Inauguration That Taiwan Independence Is a ‘Dead End’

BEIJING – China issued a stark warning on May 20, asserting that efforts towards Taiwanese independence represent a “dead end” following the inauguration of Taiwan’s new President Lai Ching-te.

China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province, reiterated its longstanding threat to use force to bring the island under its control. Lai, labeled a “dangerous separatist” by Beijing due to his previous pro-independence stance, has moderated his rhetoric in recent years.

Commenting on Lai’s inauguration, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin declared, “Taiwan independence is a dead end. No matter under what guise or banner, the pursuit of Taiwan independence and secession is doomed to fail.”

As Lai assumed office, Beijing imposed sanctions on three U.S. defense companies over their arms sales to Taipei. Concurrently, Chinese social media platform Weibo blocked hashtags related to the inauguration, preventing them from trending among its hundreds of millions of users.

Ahead of the ceremony, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office likened the relationship between Taiwan independence and peace in the strait to “water and fire.” The office reiterated this sentiment on May 20, accusing Lai of sending “dangerous” signals that threaten peace and stability.

“The current situation in the Taiwan Strait is complicated and grim,” the office stated in response to Lai’s inauguration speech. Lai’s presidency begins under intense scrutiny and pressure from Beijing, highlighting the ongoing tensions and complex geopolitical dynamics surrounding Taiwan’s status.