China has voiced strong opposition to the official contacts and military relations between the United States and Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, said on Wednesday that China resolutely opposed relations in any form between the US and Taiwan.
Ma made the remarks at a press conference in response to news that two US Navy vessels had crossed the Taiwan Strait on October 22.
Two US warships have sailed through the Taiwan Strait, amid heightened tensions with China.
Beijing sees the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a breakaway but inseparable part of its territory.
‘There will be a price to pay’
“The Taiwan issue bears on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ma said. “We resolutely oppose official contacts or military ties in any form between the US side and Taiwan region, and our stance is consistent and clear.”
“Those who rely on foreign forces to build themselves up and collude with foreign forces to undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait will certainly pay a price for their deeds,” the Chinese official said.
Beijing has pursued reunification ever since Taiwan broke away from mainland China during a civil war in 1949. China claims full sovereignty over the island; and almost all world countries, including the US since 1979, recognize that sovereignty under a policy known as “One China.”
However, Washington has extensive military ties with Taiwan, forwarding advanced military hardware to the island state over the objections of China.
Under President Donald Trump, the US has been enhancing relation with Taiwan. Since Trump took office in January 2017, Washington has opened a new de facto embassy in Taipei, passed a law to encourage senior US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa, and has been flirting with the idea of recognizing Taiwan as “independent.”
Beijing’s relations with Taipei have particularly been strained since the island’s president Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, came to power in 2016. She has strong anti-China inclinations and refuses to acknowledge that both sides are part of “One China.”
China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said recently that his country will take necessary military actions, “at any cost,” to thwart potential attempts to separate the self-ruled island of Taiwan.