Snickers maker forced to apologise after sparking China fury in major Taiwan blunder

China could pressure Taiwan with economic boycott says expert

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Mars Wrigley issued an apology after social media users in China criticised the wording of adverts for a new limited edition Snickers bar. Videos and images captured of a promotional event for the bar said the chocolate was only available in the “countries” of South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

After backlash on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the manufacturer said the promotional material had been amended.

Taiwan has its own democratically-elected government, and considers itself separate from mainland China.

However, Beijing considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province to be eventually reunited with the mainland.

Most countries across the world subscribe to the ‘One China’ policy, recognising Beijing’s position.

But some nations, such as the US, maintain informal but “robust” relationships with Taipei, which they consider to be key democracies in the region.

Tensions around Taiwan soared earlier this week ahead of US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, touching down in Taipei.

The planned visit earned an irate response from Beijing, which warned Washington it would “pay the price” of the most high-profile visit from the States in 25 years.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said: “The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests.”

But Ms Pelosi fired back as she arrived in Taiwan, saying: “Now, more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that’s the message we are bringing here today.”

China then went ahead with its largest-ever military drills in close proximity to Taiwan.

On Saturday, Taiwan’s defence ministry then said it had observed planes and vessels belonging to China’s People’s Liberation Army in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the mainland.

The ministry said it believed they were rehearsing an attack on Taiwan as they crossed the unofficial border between China and Taiwan.

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It said: “Multiple batches of Chinese communist planes and ships conducting activities around the Taiwan Strait, some of which crossed the median line.”

The drills began shortly after Ms Pelosi left Taiwan last week, and encroached within Taiwan’s territorial waters.

Hua Chunying called the “live fire” drills a “necessary and just measure to resolutely protect national sovereignty”.

She added: “In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs, China is the victim.

“The joint provocation by the US and Taiwan came first, China’s just defence came after.”

But Taipei has vowed not to “shy away” from shows of military might from Beijing.

Taiwan’s generals said they were committed to upholding “our sovereignty, liberty and democracy”.

They added: “We fear no threat or challenges. We are not eager for a fight, nor will we shy away from one.

“We have the capacity and the will to uphold our valued liberty and democracy, and maintain our region’s stability.”

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