China irked by proposed US-Taiwan economic talks, calls Washington to 'stop exchange or contacts' with Taipei

ANI
·2-min read
US and Chinese flags
US and Chinese flags

Beijing [China], November 11 (ANI): As the United States and Taiwan are set to begin economic talks, Beijing has called on Washington to "stop exchange or contacts" with Taipei and stop elevating its relationship with Taiwan in any substantive way.

Addressing a briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Webin urged the US to adhere to the one-China principle.

Taiwan is sending a delegation to the US for the inaugural meeting of the US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue later this month. The US side will be led by Undersecretary Keith Krach, who visited Taiwan in September.

"China consistently opposes official exchanges between the US and the Taiwan region. We urge the US to adhere to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, stop all forms of official exchanges and contacts with Taiwan, stop elevating its relationship with Taiwan in any substantive way, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, and send no misleading signals to the Taiwan separatist forces, so as to avoid serious damage to China-US relations, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Wang said.

China regards Taipei as a "breakaway province" and has said that it wouldn't mind using force to claim it. At the same time, Beijing has also accused Washington and Taipei of promoting independence.

China in recent years has also increased military drills around Taiwan, with almost 40 Chinese warplanes crossing the median line between the mainland and Taiwan on September 18-19 -- one of several sorties the island's President Tsai Ing-wen called a "threat of force".

During US Health Secretary Alex Azar's historic visit to Taiwan in September, China deployed fighter jets that briefly crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, South China Morning Post had reported citing Taiwan's Defence Ministry. The ministry had said it had tracked the PLA fighters with its land-based anti-aircraft missiles and had "strongly driven them out".

In August, the United States announced that it was establishing a new economic dialogue with Taiwan focused on technology, health care, energy and other sectors. Taiwan hopes talks will result in a free-trade agreement with the United States.

The Trump administration has also stepped up military support for Taiwan in recent years through increased arms sales. (ANI)