China has called on the United States not to allow a delegation from Taiwan at US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
“We again urge the relevant side in the United States not to allow the Taiwan authority to send a so-called delegation to the United States to attend the presidential inauguration and not have any form of official contact with Taiwan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that a delegation, led by former premier and ex-ruling party leader Yu Shyi-kun, would participate at the Friday inauguration ceremony. A national security adviser and some lawmakers would also be present.
“China’s position has already accurately and unmistakably been given to the US administration and Trump’s team,” Hua added, in an apparent reference to the numerous statements by Chinese officials over the past several weeks against the US recognizing Taiwanese independence.
The spokeswoman also warned Taiwan against engaging “in activities to interfere in or damage China-US ties.”
China regards Taiwan as part of its own territory, and any move implying independence for the island angers Beijing.
Washington cut formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and has since been recognizing Beijing as the sole government of “One China.” Incoming US President Trump, however, is challenging China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, seeking to negotiate with the country over the “One China” policy.
Trump first angered China after his election win in November 2016 by taking a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen in a major break from US diplomatic protocol in 37 years. He later defended the phone call.
China and Taiwan are physically separated by the Taiwan Strait in the Western Pacific Ocean. They split politically following the 1927-1950 Chinese Civil War and there have been no formal cross-strait diplomatic relations ever since.