China files protest over US defense bill’s Taiwan language

27-Dec-2016 Intellasia | The Hill | 6:00 AM Print This Post

China on Sunday lodged a protest to the US over a defense policy bill that calls for military exchanges with Taiwan.

President Obama this week signed a bill that “expresses the sense of Congress that [the Department of Defense] should conduct a programme of senior military exchanges between the United States and Taiwan.”

China’s Foreign Ministry lodged “stern representations,” according to Reuters.

“We urge the US side to abide by its promises made to China on the Taiwan issue, stop US-Taiwan military contacts and arms sales to Taiwan, to avoid damaging Sino-US ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said.

US-China tensions ratcheted up earlier this month when President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, breaking decades of US protocol.

China claims Taiwan as part of its “One China” policy, and the US has recognised that claim since 1979 and not had formal diplomatic relations with the island since.

China ripped Trump in response, and last week seized a US Navy underwater drone in the South China Sea. Beijing claimed it was done out of self-defense and gave the drone back, but US experts believe it may have been a warning shot over the burgeoning US-Taiwan relationship.


Category: Taiwan

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