China Taiwan News: Missile test and FIFA’s visa rules at the center of latest spike in tensions

China Taiwan News: Missile test and FIFA’s visa rules at the center of latest spike in tensions

World News

China-Taiwan tensions have risen to the highest in the past decade, as per Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s new index, reported Bloomberg. The report comes amidst news that China had successfully tested a new anti-ballistic missile (ABM) on Sunday, the sixth such missile it has tested so far. Though the country’s defence ministry said that the tests are not targeted at any country, it comes as China is at the centre of a number of power tussles with its numerous neighbours, including Taiwan, India, and the countries using the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, the China-Taiwan row reached FIFA 2022 after China persuaded the organisers of the World Cup in Qatar to change the reference for Taiwanese visitors from ‘Taiwan’ to ‘Chinese Taipei’.

The missile test

China has said that it successfully carried out a land-based mid-course anti-ballistic missile (ABM) technical test on Sunday with Chinese experts claiming that the tests, stated to be the sixth of its kind, validated the reliability of the country’s anti-ballistic missile umbrella.

The test is defensive in nature and not targeted against any country, the Chinese Defence Ministry’s official English website said in a brief statement on Sunday. According to the statement, China conducted a land-based midcourse missile interception test within its territory on June 19 and achieved the desired test objective.

State-run Global Times reported that the mid-course ABM test marks the consecutive year China has conducted this kind of test. A similar test was carried out in February 2021. The latest test brings the tally of publicly announced Chinese land-based ABM technical tests to six.

China’s latest ABM test comes at a time Beijing is increasingly getting restive over the US and Japan ramping up their support for the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China vociferously claims as part of its mainland.

Also, China’s claims over most of the South China Sea have resulted in tensions in the Indo-Pacific region. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the area.

International arm-twisting?

Taiwan accused China of bullying on Monday after organisers of the World Cup in Qatar again changed the reference for Taiwanese visitors applying for an identification card that doubles as an entry visa to list their nationality as “Chinese Taipei”.

All World Cup ticket holders must apply for the Hayya card used to identify fans, which also serves as their Qatar visa, but Taiwan’s government expressed concern after discovering the online application system made no mention of the island.

It was subsequently listed as, “Taiwan, Province of China”, terminology that equally angers Taiwan’s government and many of its people, and then changed again to just “Taiwan”, earning praise from the government in Taipei. However, the listing has changed again, to “Chinese Taipei”, the name Taiwan uses to compete in most international sporting events like the Olympics to avoid political problems.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed its “appreciation” to the Qatari government’s “adherence to the one-China principle and its handling of relevant matters in accordance with the usual practices of international sports events”.

(Compiled from Reuters and Associated Press reports)

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