China vs US: Beijing promises ‘firm counterattack’ after Washington intervention in Taiwan

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The belligerent comments from Beijing came after the Trump administration on Saturday abandoned the restrictions that the US had committed to in its relations with Taiwan. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the US had imposed the restrictions on itself “in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing”. He then declared that he was now lifting them all.

The restrictions were to appease Beijing’s demand that foreign nations should not treat Taiwan as an independent state.

Today the BBC’s China Correspondent Stephen McDonell tweeted: “China’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the move by the US Government to allow all government interactions with Taiwan from now on.

“’Any actions which harm China’s core interests will be met with a firm counterattack’ Zhao Lijian said.”

The Chinese state-run propaganda tabloid, the Global Times, issued a warning to US secretary of state Mr Pompeo, who sanctioned the closer ties between Washington and Taipei.

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The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, stated China’s Weibo social media platform that Beijing had a “precious window of opportunity for mainland China to teach a heavy lesson to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces”.

Hinting that Beijing should take advantage of the current coronavirus fallout and political instability in the US, the firebrand editor declared that China should re-establish “strategic leverage” in the Taiwan Strait.

He added: “While Pompeo tries to cross Beijing’s red line on national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he should not expect that China will sit back and do nothing.

“Those political clowns will be punished for what they have done to harm China’s core interests.”

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The Trump administration’s Taiwan-US relations policy decision, days before leaving office, has drawn the wrath of Beijing.

The Trump administration has effectively removed decades-old restrictions on interactions with Taiwan.

This move will completely reshape US relations with China as it defies China’s one country, two systems principle with Taiwan that it demands other nations adhere to.

China’s foreign policy statement on Taiwan is that it is an integral part of China and if other governments wish to communicate with Taipei they should first go through Beijing.

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On China’s official foreign affairs website Beijing describes the one country, two systems policy.

The website states: “Taiwan is a sacred and inseparable part of China’s territory.

“Owing to reasons known to all, Taiwan has since 1949 been separated from the mainland.

“To bring about the complete reunification of China is the common aspiration of all the Chinese, both in the country and overseas.

“The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government take the completion of the grand cause of China’s peaceful reunification as their historical mission and have made protracted efforts towards this end.”

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