China has warned the United States after four Democrats and one Republican lawmaker landed in Taiwan to meet the Island’s president.
The lawmakers called the visit ‘a show of support’ after traveling to South Korea to serve stationed US troops Thanksgiving dinner
Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from mainland China during a civil war in 1949, but China considers the island part of its own territory and wants to reclaim it by any means necessary.
Following the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing had lodged stern communication to the US over the visit.
‘We advise some people in the United States not to play the Taiwan card, because it’s a bad card, and a losing hand,’ Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the foreign ministry, said on Friday, November 26 at a regular media briefing.
“The United States should abide by the one China policy and immediately stop official exchanges with Taiwan in any form, and clear any obstacles for Sino-U.S. relations in advance”, Zhao warned.
The bi-partisan group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan on Thursday night and met with senior leaders including president Tsai, said the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy.
Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan, tweeted: ‘I’m midway through my visit to Taiwan & this much is clear: this place is on the rise.
‘The fortitude & determination of the people, led by their dynamic (frankly, kick-a**) President, is downright inspiring — and I don’t inspire easily. Democratic values still & always matter.’
The visit and subsequent rebuke from Beijing comes as tensions between Taiwan and China have risen to their highest level in decades.
‘When news of our trip broke yesterday, my office received a blunt message from the Chinese Embassy, telling me to call off the trip,’ said Slotkin.
Tsai, who welcomed the lawmakers and the AIT director at the Presidential Office in Taipei, noted the two sides’ cooperation in veterans’ affairs, economic issues and trade while reiterating the island’s close alignment with the U.S.
‘Taiwan will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region,’ Tsai said.
The visit is the third by U.S. lawmakers to Taiwan this year and comes just a few weeks after a group of six Republican members of Congress visited the island.