National Security

China rips senior Pentagon official’s visit to Taiwan

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
File – The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view made through an airplane window in Washington on Jan. 26, 2020.

China on Wednesday ripped a visit to Taiwan from a senior Pentagon official, reaffirming that Beijing “resolutely opposes any official interaction and military collaboration” between the United States and the self-governing island. 

Zhu Fenglian, the spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told reporters that the efforts from Taiwan’s government to establish its independence from China with help from other countries will fail. 

The comments come after Michael Chase, the deputy assistant Defense secretary for China, reportedly visited the democratic island. 

A Pentagon spokesperson did not directly address Chase’s visit, saying that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is “rock-solid” and that it helps to maintain peace and stability in the region. 

Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, meanwhile, has said it does not have any information to share about the visit. 

China considers Taiwan to be a part of Chinese territory awaiting reunification, while the U.S. considers Taiwan’s status to be unsettled. 

U.S. policy recognizes Beijing as the one true China and pursues a policy of strategic ambiguity. Under federal law, the U.S. is committed to providing Taiwan with weapons to defend itself but not necessarily defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Taiwanese officials trying to “seek independence” with help from the U.S. has heightened tensions in the region. 

“We urge the U.S. to … stop any form of official U.S.-Taiwan contacts, stop meddling in the Taiwan issue and stop creating new factors of tension in the Taiwan Strait,” Wang said. 

China’s denunciation of the visit comes as tensions have risen significantly between Washington and Beijing, after the Biden administration shot down a Chinese balloon that the U.S. said was designed for surveillance earlier this month. 

China has claimed ownership of the balloon but said it was meant for meteorological research and was blown off course by wind. 

U.S. officials have also warned that China might be sending nonlethal aid to Russia for its war against Ukraine and was considering also sending lethal aid. China has officially declared neutrality in the conflict.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Tags Michael Chase One China policy Taiwan policy U.S.-China relations US-Taiwan relations Wang Wenbin

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