China says US meddling in internal affairs

Chinese jets carrying out "island encirclement patrols" around Taiwan on Monday. Taiwan called the rise in China's military deployments irresponsible.
Chinese jets carrying out "island encirclement patrols" around Taiwan on Monday. Taiwan called the rise in China's military deployments irresponsible.PHOTO: XINHUA

Beijing files complaint after Trump signs Act allowing possible navy visits to Taiwan

BEIJING/TAIPEI • China accused the United States yesterday of interfering in its internal affairs and said it had lodged a complaint after US President Donald Trump signed into law an Act laying the groundwork for possible US navy visits to self-ruled Taiwan.

Tensions have risen in recent days after a senior Chinese diplomat threatened China would invade Taiwan if any US warships made port visits to the island which China claims as its own territory.

On Monday, Chinese jets carried out "island encirclement patrols" around Taiwan, with state media showing pictures of bombers with cruise missiles slung under their wings carrying out the exercise.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump signed into law the National Defence Authorisation Act for the 2018 fiscal year, which authorises the possibility of mutual visits by navy vessels between Taiwan and the US.

Such visits would be the first since the US ended formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and established ties with Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said while the Taiwan sections of the law were not legally binding, they seriously violate the "one China" policy and "constitute an interference in China's internal affairs".

"China is resolutely opposed to this, and we have already lodged stern representations with the US government," Mr Lu told a daily news conference.

He added that China is firmly opposed to any official exchanges, military contact, or arms sales between Taiwan and the US.

Taiwan has become increasingly concerned with the ramped up Chinese military presence that has included several rounds of Chinese air force drills around the island in recent months. Taiwan is confident of its defences and responded quickly to the Chinese air force drills this week, its government said, denouncing the rise in China's military deployments as irresponsible.

Taiwan "can ensure there are no concerns at all about national security, and people can rest assured," said presidential spokesman Alex Huang on Wednesday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'China says US meddling in internal affairs'. Print Edition | Subscribe