China rebukes US over Taiwan
China’s foreign minister Qin Gang has reprimanded the United States’ envoy to Beijing for what he perceived as Washington’s support for Taiwan, while also saying that his country would not agree to bolster communication lines between Washington and Beijing without receiving political concessions from the White House first.
“The US should not talk about communication while continuously suppressing and containing China,” Qin said to Ambassador Nicholas Burns, according to a readout of their meeting released on Monday by China’s Foreign Ministry. “The US must not say one thing but do the opposite.”
Qin added that Washington “must respect China’s bottom lines and red lines, and stop damaging China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
Tensions have amplified between the US and China in recent months, in part due to both nations’ respective stances regarding Taiwan. Beijing views the island as a breakaway province which remains its sovereign territory – but, while Washington doesn’t maintain official diplomatic ties with Taipei, it has supplied its government with defensive weaponry.
Beijing was also angered by Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen being granted an audience with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during an April visit to California.
The diplomatic spat between Beijing and Washington has led to discussions between the superpowers becoming less frequent. Speaking last month at an online summit hosted by a Washington-based think tank, Burns indicated that the US and China need “deeper channels,” particularly as the militaries of both nations operate closely to one another in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
Qin stated to Burns during their meeting that establishing stable communications between Beijing and Washington was crucial to mediating potential crises, according to the Chinese foreign ministry readout. But Qin also suggested that the souring relationship was due to the US and to its violations of Beijing’s “red lines.”