China is demanding that the U.S. ban a Taiwanese delegation from attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
A Taiwanese delegation led by former premier Yu Shyi-kun will attend Trump’s inauguration, according to the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While it is not uncommon for Taiwanese delegations to attend U.S. presidential inaugurations, rising tension between Beijing and Taipei has caused China to press the issue.
The delegation is not planning to meet with members of the Trump administration, reports Reuters.
“We urge the relevant side in the U.S. not to allow Taiwan to send a so-called delegation to the U.S. to attend the presidential inauguration and to not have any official contact with Taiwan,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said during a press conference Wednesday.
“China’s has already clearly and unmistakably presented its position to the current U.S. administration and Trump’s team,” she added.
Hua warned the U.S. against engaging “in activities that could interfere or damage U.S.-China ties.”
Beijing is suspicious of Taiwan’s activities abroad.
China fears that Tsai and other members of her administration intend to gather international support for an independence movement. China perceives Taiwan as a renegade province destined for reunification — by force if necessary, and tensions between Taipei and Beijing have been running high since Tsai’s election last summer.
Beijing has cut official communication lines with Taipei.
Beijing also worries about the intentions of the incoming Trump administration. Trump has cast uncertainty over the one-China principle, which China argues is a “prerequisite for the development of relations between China and the rest of the world, on three occasions.
In early December, Trump broke with decades of diplomatic protocol and accepted a phone call from Tsai. One week later, he argued that the U.S. should not uphold the one-China policy if China refuses to make concessions on issues affecting the U.S.-China bilateral relationship, such as trade.
Trump tripled down on his assertions last Friday by stating that “everything is under negotiation, including one China.”
Beijing’s latest protest is unlikely to yield significant results. “I don’t want China dictating to me,” Trump said last month in an interview with Fox News.
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