During a virtual keynote speech on Japan-Taiwan relations Wednesday, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Beijing that an attack on Taiwan would be “economic suicide.”

Beijing immediately lashed out at the former Japanese leader who made the remark at a forum organized by the Institute for National Policy Research, a Taiwanese think tank. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed China’s "strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition," denouncing Abe's remarks as “openly nonsensical” and said: “If you challenge the bottom line of the Chinese people, your head will surely be smashed and start bleeding."

Japan’s mainstream media are mostly indifferent. No editorial of major newspapers has discussed Abe’s remarks thus far. The exception was the conservative Sankei newspaper, whose Taipei bureau chief reported that officials of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party “felt relieved to hear Abe’s speech.”