Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

China says USA should not allow visit by Taiwan's leader

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York US visit risks Beijing’s fury for President of Taiwan
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2019, 11:11

The US State Department has said there has been no change in the USA one-China policy and that it allowed such transit stops "out of consideration for the safety, comfort, convenience and dignity of the passenger".

Tsai's trip came after the Pentagon said on Monday the U.S. State Department had approved the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, including 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, which are manufactured by Raytheon.

"We urge the U.S.to abide by the "one China" principle and ... not allow Tsai Ing-wen's stopover, cease official exchanges with Taiwan and refrain from providing any platform for separatist Taiwan independence forces", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing. The proposed sales may further test relations between the United States and China, already strained by protracted trade tensions.

With the United States engaged in a trade war with China, relations between Taipei and Washington have warmed considerably.

Tsai transited through the U.S. during a trip to the Pacific earlier this year, as well as last year's visit to Paraguay and Belize, both prompting official Chinese protests.

Tsai will meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moise and other top officials, according to an official agenda provided by the Haitian government. "The 23 million people of Taiwan have a right to participate in global affairs and this right should not be subject to political preconditions". It added that the "irresponsible practice of the U.S." will raise tensions, and warned that American leaders "should not take chances and keep walking on the wrong path".

"We urge the USA to abide by the "one China" principle and ... not allow Tsai Ing-wen's stopover, cease official exchanges with Taiwan and refrain from providing any platform for separatist Taiwan independence forces", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing.

"If the US side wants to create new troubles in U.S". "Some experts in Taiwan described the arms deal as a 'fool's decision, ' because the price is high and the weapons purchased are not able to secure Taiwan at all".

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China has been especially concerned that Taiwan may purchase new fighter jets from the US, but no such weapons are included in this sale. In 2017, Panama cut ties with Taiwan to establish relations with China.

Taiwan has been trying to shore up its diplomatic alliances amid pressure from China.

China on Tuesday had also demanded that the United States "immediately cancel" the US$2.2 billion potential arms sale.

Since Tsai became president, Beijing has poached five of the island's shrinking roster of allies, including Haiti's neighbour the Dominican Republic, which broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan past year.

The State Department has dismissed Chinese protests over the arms sale.

"Our interest in Taiwan, especially as it relates to these military sales, is to promote peace and stability across the straits, across the region", she said.

This article was updated to include an infographic.