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China warns US against Taiwan visits

Beijing has said it firmly opposes any official exchanges between Washington and Taipei

US lawmakers must end any visits to Taiwan and adhere to the One-China policy, or be ready to face the consequences, Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said during a press conference on Thursday.

His comments came in response to a statement by the chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, who announced on Tuesday that he would not be deterred by China’s threats and would lead a US delegation to Taiwan, which he called a “dearest friend and partner and ally” of Washington, at the end of the month. 

Beijing considers the self-governing island to be an inalienable part of China, and has been pushing towards a peaceful reunification, vehemently condemning any separatist movements that seek Taiwanese independence. 

Wang said Beijing firmly opposes any form of “official exchanges” between Washington and Taipei, and urged US representatives against interfering in the island’s affairs in any way and under any pretext. 

He added that the warning extends to the US Congress, whose representatives are an “integral part of the US government” and should therefore abide by the One-China policy officially acknowledged by Washington and only maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the island. 

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Beijing launches ‘punishment’ drills around Taiwan

If Congress members do visit Taiwan, Wang warned that it would be interpreted as a “serious violation” of the One-China principle, an attempt to damage China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a “seriously wrong signal” for Taiwanese separatist forces. 

“If the US insists on its own way, it must be fully responsible for the consequences,” Wang stressed.

Meanwhile, the Chinese military announced on Thursday that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has kicked off a series of joint drills near Taiwan to serve as “punishment” for separatist forces seeking independence and as a “stern warning” against any external forces aiming to interfere in China’s internal affairs. 

The exercises are said to involve the PLA’s army, navy, air force and rocket force, all of which will carry out drills in various areas around Taiwan, focusing on combined sea-air combat-readiness patrol, battlefield control and joint precision strikes.

 

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