EFETokyo

Any military action by China against Taiwan would pull in Japan and ally the United States, and would constitute "economic suicide" for Beijing, Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe warned on Wednesday.

Abe spoke on this hypothetical scenario in the context of growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, during a virtual forum organized by the Taiwanese Institute for National Policy Research think tank.

"A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and [therefore] an emergency for the Japan-US alliance. President Xi Jinping should never misunderstand this point," Abe said during his speech at the forum, according to national broadcaster NHK.

Japan, Taiwan and all those that believe in democracy need to continue to appeal to Xi and the Chinese Communist Party to not take the wrong path, said Abe, who was the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan and still considered one of the most influential figures within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

"A military adventure is the way to economic suicide" for China and "would have a significant impact on the world economy," said the former Conservative leader, who left office for health reasons in September last year and who remains a deputy of the Lower House.