Taipei, Taiwan (CNN)The Chinese government has slammed Washington for engaging with Taipei and ordered the Trump administration to cease diplomatic engagements with the island, after a highly unusual public meeting between top officials from the US and Taiwan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday that Beijing “deplored and strongly objected” to the meeting and urgedthe US to stop “having official exchanges or upgrading substantive relations with Taiwan.”
Taiwan and China were separated at the end of a bloody civil war in 1949 and officially the US only has official diplomatic relations with Beijing.
“The one-China principle is the political basis for China-US relations,” Lu said. “We are firmly against the US engaging in any official contact with Taiwan in whatever form and under whatever pretext.
“We also stand resolutely against any attempt to create ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan.’ This is our clear and consistent position.”
As the China and US engage in a tense trade war, however, Washington has been building closer ties with Taiwan, the island that China views as a renegade province.
On Saturday, Taiwan announced it had renamed its unofficial embassy in Washington from the Coordination Council for North American Affairs to the Taiwan Council for US Affairs, after discussions with Washington. That marked the first time a Taiwan government organization had been renamed to include the words “Taiwan” and “US.”
And in March, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announced she wanted to purchase advanced new weapons from US President Donald Trump’s administration.
Beijing’s comments came asTaiwan began its annual Han Kuang Exercise on Tuesday. The military drills are aimed at ensuring the island’s readiness for an invasion by communist China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
President Tsai watched as the air force landed F-16V aircraft on a highway in eastern Changhua county, an exercise designed to test the military’s refueling and rearming capacity if major airfields on the island were occupied or destroyed by the PLA.
Hundreds of Taiwan citizens flocked to the roadside to watch the drill, waving flags and displaying banners showing their support for the island’s airforce.
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