Vladimir Putin‘s mouthpiece — the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov — reiterated Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s warning as he invoked the Taiwan issue at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
What Happened: Lavrov said the U.S. was “playing with fire” around Taiwan while China was trying for “peaceful reunification” with the self-governed island nation.
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“They’re playing with fire around Taiwan. On top of that, they’re promising military support to Taiwan,” Lavrov said.
In a 24-minute speech, he mocked the West as the “self-proclaimed masters of the world” and said the U.S. is trying to “subjugate” and divide Asia in the name of its Indo-Pacific strategy.
“The West is introducing dividing lines everywhere along the lines of confrontation with blocs. You are either with us or against us. There is no third option. There are no compromises,” Lavrov said.
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Why It’s Important: Putin has explicitly supported China over Taiwan and has condemned the Biden administration’s support for the self-ruled island.
During Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit 2022 last week, Putin said, “We intend to firmly adhere to the principle of ‘One China.'”
“We condemn provocations by the United States and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden said last week he would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack. Biden’s statement drew a harsh response from China, which said the U.S. was sending the wrong signal to those seeking Taiwan’s independence, where it claims sovereignty.
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