Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to China, says Chinese foreign minister

China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Friday said that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to China and that it is right and proper for China to uphold its sovereignty.

Qin made the remarks at the Lanting Forum in Shanghai, where he discussed a wide range of topics from debt, the global economy, the Ukraine crisis and Taiwan.

“Recently there has been absurd rhetoric, accusing China of challenging the rules-based international order, and that it’s trying to unilaterally upend the status quo in the Taiwan Strait by force or coercion… The logic is absurd and the consequences are dangerous,” Qin said.

“Those who play with fire on the Taiwan issue will eventually get themselves burned,” he added.

China recently held military exercises around the self-ruled island after Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, returned to Taipei following a meeting in Los Angeles with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Beijing views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, a claim the government in Taipei strongly rejects, and routinely denounces high-level meetings between Taiwanese and foreign leaders and officials.