BEIJING – China warned the United States government on Wednesday against top US officials meeting Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Minister Chen Ming-tong, who is on a visit to the US capital.
Chen began his visit to the US capital on Monday and is set to speak at a think tank seminar and meet academicians as well as hold meetings with government officials, according to the Taiwanese government.
“We firmly oppose any formal ties between the US and Taiwan,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press briefing.
“We hope the US can properly handle Taiwan related issues, take concrete actions to uphold the overall picture of China US relations,” Hua further warned Washington.
The Donald Trump administration has reached out to Taiwan after a telephone conversation in 2016 with President Tsai Ing-wen, by selling arms to the island and approving a law that did away with restrictions on official visits between top officials from the US and Taiwan.
Last month, Washington inaugurated a new de-facto embassy in Taipei – officially called the American Institute in Taiwan, as the US does not maintain official diplomatic ties with Taiwan – with more than 500 employees.
The US Department of State had requested the Pentagon assign Marines for the security of the building as is the norm with US embassies around the world, a move which has been opposed by Beijing.
China, which maintains that Taiwan is a rebellious island since the end of the 1949 civil war, demands that countries should not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, under its “One China Principle.”