Taiwan: China condemns U.S Senator Blackburn’s visit

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China has condemned the visit by Senator Marsha Blackburn, a U.S. lawmaker on the Senate Commerce and Armed Services committees, to Taiwan on Thursday describing the visit as provocative.

Spokesman for China’s Embassy in Washington Liu Pengyu vowed that Beijing would take unspecified “resolute countermeasures” in response to what he called the U.S. “provocations.”

“The relevant visit once again proves that the U.S. does not want to see stability across the Taiwan Strait and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Liu said in a statement.

Senator Marsha Blackburn’s visit to Taiwan is the third by a U.S. dignitary this month, defying pressure from Beijing to halt the trips.

“Taiwan is our strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific Region. Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing U.S. policy.

“I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning my back on the island.” Blackburn said in a statement.

Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, earlier voiced support for the trip by Pelosi, a member of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.

Pelosi’s visit infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, and by cutting some lines of dialogue with Washington.

Also Read: Taiwan: China urges Canada not to interfere 

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Blackburn was due to meet President Tsai Ing-wen during her trip, which ends on Saturday, as well as top security official Wellington Koo and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

“The two sides will exchange views extensively on issues such as Taiwan-U.S. security and economic and trade relations,” the ministry added in a brief statement.

Meanwhile the Biden administration has sought to keep tensions between Washington and Beijing, inflamed by the visits, from boiling over into a conflict, reiterating that such congressional trips are routine.

“Members of Congress and elected officials have gone to Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so, and this is in line with our longstanding One China policy,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in response to a question about Blackburn’s visit.

The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

China has never ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Taiwan has maintained that China has no claim over it and that it is only the people of Taiwan that can decide its future.


Zainab Sa’id

Source Reuters
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