China Cautions Japan Against Holding Party-Led Security Talks With Taiwan

China has told Japan to be "especially cautious" in its relations with Taiwan, following reports of a planned party-level security dialogue between Tokyo and Taipei.

China opposes all exchanges between Taiwan and any country with diplomatic relations with Beijing, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a regular press conference in Beijing.

"The Taiwan question concerns the political foundations of China-Japan relations," she said, adding: "Japan must and should be especially cautious with its words and actions, given historic crimes committed against the Chinese people in relation to the Taiwan question."

She did not elaborate but may have been referring to the First Sino-Japanese War between the Qing dynasty and the Empire of Japan. The conflict concluded with the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, which, among other terms, included China ceding Taiwan to Japan. The empire ruled Taiwan for 50 years until the end of World War II.

"We solemnly urge Japan to re-examine the relevant considerations, not to interfere in China's internal affairs and not to send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces in any way," Hua said.

A report by The Japan Times on Wednesday said the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was planning talks with members of its Taiwanese counterpart, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

LDP Foreign Affairs Division Director Masahisa Sato and National Defense Division Director Taku Otsuka would join the quasi-"2+2" dialogue, the report said, while Taiwan had yet to decide on its participants.

DPP spokesperson Hsieh Pei-fen told Newsweek on Thursday that the party-led meeting was still in its planning phase.

Japan-Taiwan exchanges, as well as mutual security concerns are expected to be on the agenda, according to The Japan Times.

As Tokyo and Taipei have no official diplomatic relations, analysts say the informal party-level talks will allow both governments to avoid political sensitivities.

Both Japan and Taiwan are experiencing what they see as concerning military expansion by China, and attempts by Beijing to change the status quo in its surrounding waters.

In the East China Sea, China Coast Guard patrols around the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands have reached record highs in 2021. China claims the islands as Diaoyutai.

Meanwhile, in the Taiwan Strait, People's Liberation Army warplanes have flown near Taiwan more times and in larger numbers than any period since the mid-1990s—sometimes flying around Japanese islands to do so.

Tokyo's officials have intimated that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan could directly threaten the security of nearby Japanese islands.

China Warns Japan Against Taiwan Security Talks
File photo: Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army rehearse for a military parade on October 1, 2019, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China. Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images