China sets the “first red line” in its relationship with the US. Beijing has asked Washington to cut off all ties with Taipei “immediately.”
China has told the US that the Taiwan issue is the “first red line” that shouldn’t be crossed in their relationship.
The warning came from the Chinese Foreign Ministry early on Thursday, a few hours after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers in California.
In a statement, the ministry said that China was “firmly against and strongly condemning” the high-profile meeting that took place in the United States. “It seriously hurts China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends a very bad message to the “Taiwan independence” separatists,” the statement said.
The ministry said that Washington and Taipei had done “egregiously wrong things” and that Beijing would respond with “strong and firm measures.”
The statement said, “The Taiwan issue is at the heart of China’s core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.”
Beijing said that a free Taiwan and peace in the Taiwan Strait were “as different as fire and water.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry asked the US “not to go further down the wrong and dangerous path” of trying to use Taiwan to “contain” China. It said that Washington should follow the “One China” principle and “stop immediately all official exchanges with Taiwan.”
Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, but it has never officially broken away from China. Beijing doesn’t want the island to have any contact with the US because it thinks the island is part of its territory.
Even though Washington has recognised Beijing as the only legitimate government in China since 1979, it still has strong unofficial ties with Taipei. It supports Taipei’s push for independence and has promised to defend the island militarily if the mainland attacks.
During their meeting on Wednesday, Tsai told McCarthy, “We’re stronger when we work together.” The leader of Taiwan said that she was thankful to the US for helping to “protect our way of life.”
McCarthy said, “Friendship between the people of Taiwan and America is a matter of great importance to the free world.” It is important to keep economic freedom, peace, and stability in the region.
It’s the second time in less than a year that Tsai has met a speaker of the US House. Last August, McCarthy’s predecessor, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, went to Taiwan. This caused a big rise in tensions between Beijing and Washington as China started its biggest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait and put sanctions on Taipei.