China Outraged as US Plans Navy Visits to Taiwan
US President Donald Trump has touched another sensitive issue, when he signed a law which de facto paves the way for military cooperation between the US and Taiwanese Navies. The move sparked fury in China, which claims the island is its own territory.
China accused the United States of meddling into its internal affairs on Thursday, adding that it had filed a complaint after President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law on Tuesday, which laid the grounds for future mutual navy visits between Taiwan and the United States.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that the US had violated the so-called “One-China” policy, which implies that the US should have formal ties with China rather than with the “breakaway province.”
Earlier this week, Li Kexin, a senior Chinese diplomat, threatened that China would use force on Taiwan, if the US sent its ships to Taiwan’s main port.
"The day that a U.S. Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung is the day that our People's Liberation Army unifies Taiwan with military force," Chinese media quoted Li as saying.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said that Chinese officials “showed a lack of knowledge of how a democratic society worked” despite their desire to “win over hearts” in Taiwan.
According to China Daily, a group of People’s Liberation Army Air Force H-6K bombers, accompanied by Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, conducted drills around Taiwan on Monday, “further improving their ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Trump administration has been strengthening its ties with Taiwan – which it considers a cornerstone in US-China relations. China sees Taiwan as a renegade island that should be brought back, even by use of force. To make matters worse, Taiwan (which officially refers to itself as the Republic of China) claims China as its territory; the ROC was overthrown in Communist mainland China by Mao Zedong in 1949.
Washington, in its turn, expects the “future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.” Despite Trump’s agreement to stick to the “One-China” policy, a pro-independence movement in Taiwan seeks to declare the island a sovereign state. Chinese officials have already warned Taipei against relying on foreign powers for its security, having emphasized that Taiwan was an internal matter. Beijing suspects that Taiwan might hold a full-fledged independence referendum next year.