China warns Donald Trump against Taiwan military ties | News | DW | 18.03.2018
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China warns Donald Trump against Taiwan military ties

The Chinese government has urged the US to "correct its mistake" regarding President Donald Trump's recently approved Taiwan Travel Act, which allows unrestricted two-way travel for officials from the US and Taiwan.

Taiwanese soldiers man mobile launchers of the US-made TOW anti-tank missile during a drill held in the northern Taoyuan county

US-made TOW anti-tank missile during a drill in Taiwan

US President Donald Trump's Taiwan Travel Act continues to draw ire from Chinese authorities. On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the bill "severely violates" the "one China" principle and sends "very wrong signals to the 'pro-independence' separatist forces in Taiwan."

"China is strongly opposed," Lu said in a statement.

"We urge the US side to correct its mistake, stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way," he added.

In a separate statement, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the act "interferes in China's internal affairs."

China urges the United States to "stop pursuing any US-Taiwan military ties and stop arms sales to Taiwan, so as to avoid causing serious damage to the bilateral and military relations between China and the US, and to the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," the statement said.

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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen refuses to acknowledge the democratic island as part of "one China"

'A beacon of democracy'

On Friday, Trump signed legislation increasing contact between Washington officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, irking China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory.

The Taiwan Travel Act will allow unrestricted two-way travel for officials from the United States and Taiwan, thus restoring direct official contact, which was cut in 1979, when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The United States still does not have formal ties with self-ruled island, but is required by law to help it with defense.

Washington dubs Taiwan "a beacon of democracy" in Asia and states that its "democratic achievements inspire many countries and people in the region."

On the other hand, China's relationship with Taiwan has taken a turn for the worse since the 2016 inauguration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to endorse Beijing's view that the island belongs to it.

Read more: Opinion: Xi Jinping – Today's chairman, tomorrow's dictator?

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shs/jlw (AFP, Reuters)