Oppose official interaction between US, Taiwan, urge America to abide by One-China principle: Beijing

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China on Wednesday said it opposes any form of official interaction between the US and Taiwan. China's Foreign Ministry urged the US to abide by the One-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués. "China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region, firmly opposes any visit by 'Taiwan independence' separatists to the US in any name or under whatever pretext, and firmly opposes any form of US connivance and support for 'Taiwan independence' separatists and their separatist activities," China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said during a press conference on Wednesday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson was responding to a question on the country's response to Taiwan's Vice President William Lai's proposed visit to the US in August. William Lai, a frontrunner in Taiwan's 2024 presidential race, recently announced his plans to stop in the US as he travels to Paraguay next month. This has drawn criticism from Chinese authorities, Al Jazeera reported.

As per Al Jazeera, Lai's US visit was revealed as part of his plans to attend the August 15 inauguration of Paraguay's President-elect Santiago Peña, a politician who campaigned on strengthening ties with Taiwan. Mao Ning said China will continue to closely follow the situation and take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The Taiwan question is the very core of China's core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in the China-US relationship," she said while adding that the country "urges the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, act on its leaders' commitment of not supporting 'Taiwan independence', stop official interaction with Taiwan, stop upgrading its substantive exchanges with the region, and stop sending a wrong signal to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces." Recently, Taiwan detected the highest number of navy vessels around the country in a single day "in recent times," reported Taiwan News.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defence (MND), sixteen navy vessels and fifteen Chinese military aircraft were detected in the vicinity of Taiwan. Taiwan News quoted, Duan Dang, a freelance writer working in Vietnam, as saying that sixteen People's Liberation Army Navy ships were spotted around Taiwan in a single day "in recent times." There were fourteen vessels when US Houses Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to Taiwan in 2022.

Taiwan News was launched in 1949 and is the first English-language newspaper in Taiwan.The MND said that Armed Forces "monitored the situation and tasked CAP (combat air patrol) aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond to these activities," as per Taiwan News. Among the three aircraft that had entered Taiwan's Southwest ADIZ were Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, and two multi-role fighter Shenyang J-16s.

Beijing has sent 239 military aircraft and 94 naval ships around Taiwan so far this month. Since September 2020, China has amplified its use of grey zone tactics by incrementally increasing the number of military aircraft and naval ships operating around Taiwan. Grey zone tactics are defined as "an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one's security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force," Taiwan News reported.

Earlier, amid China's increasing influence in the South China Sea and off the coast of Taiwan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Southeast Asian counterparts in Indonesia to warn them against Chinese coercion, The Washington Post reported. On the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of South East Nations), Blinken met his Southeast Asian counterparts and encouraged them to stand for openness, even though the Indonesian leaders and others had vowed that their region would not align itself in the heating competition between Washington and Beijing.

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