Beijing slams US congressional visit to Taiwan
A US congressional delegation’s two-day trip to Taiwan that started on Sunday is at odds with the ‘One China’ policy and violates Chinese territorial integrity, the country's Foreign Ministry claimed on Monday.
“This is a blatant violation of the ‘One China’ principle and the provisions of the joint Sino-American communiques and Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity. In addition, it sends a wrong signal to the separatist forces in Taiwan,” Wang Wenbin, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told reporters.
Wang also urged the US to adhere to the ‘One China’ principle in order to avoid “inflicting even more damage” to relations between Washington and Beijing. He added that the Chinese people seek “national reunification,” describing it as a “historic trend that could not be stopped.”
The Chinese official promised that Beijing would take decisive steps to protect its national sovereignty, adding that a handful of US politicians are overestimating themselves and their efforts to promote Taiwanese “separatism” will fail.
On Sunday, a US congressional delegation comprising four Democrats and one Republican arrived in Taiwan for a two-day visit. According to the spokesperson for Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), who is heading up the delegation, the group seeks to “reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan” and to “encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
The congressional trip to the self-governed island came less than two weeks after a separate visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent relations between Washington and Beijing into a tailspin. Beijing perceived a visit by the second person in the line of presidential succession as a violation of the ‘One China’ principle by the highest levels of power in Washington. Despite the pushback from Beijing, Pelosi said that the trip was “totally worth it,” adding that China would “not be allowed to isolate Taiwan” or dictate who can and cannot visit the island.
China responded to the House speaker’s visit by holding “unprecedented” military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and severing trade links with Taipei. Beijing also sanctioned Pelosi’s family and cut diplomatic ties with the US in a number of key areas, including climate change, maritime security, and other military sectors.
Beijing considers Taiwan sovereign Chinese territory. Since 1949, the island has been ruled by nationalists who fled the mainland with US help after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists. The US officially recognizes, but does not endorse, China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. Although American lawmakers and officials regularly travel to the island, Beijing considers visits by more senior US figures to be tacit endorsements of Taiwanese independence.