China identifies ‘first red line’ in US relations

Lazy eyes listen


According to Beijing, the Taiwan issue is the “first red line” that should not be crossed in China-US relations.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued the warning early Thursday, just hours after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers in California.

“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the high-profile meeting on American soil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “It seriously violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends an egregiously wrong signal to the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces,” the statement continued.

The ministry warned that Beijing will take “strong and resolute measures” in response to Washington and Taipei’s “egregiously wrong action.”

“The Taiwan issue is central to China’s core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” the statement said.

An independent Taipei and stability in the Taiwan Strait, according to Beijing, were as “irreconcilable as fire and water.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged the US not to “go further down the wrong and dangerous path” of attempting to “contain” China through the Taiwan issue. Washington should follow the One-China principle and “suspend all official exchanges with Taiwan immediately,” it said.

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, but has never declared its independence from China. Beijing, which considers the island to be part of its territory, is vehemently opposed to any contacts with the United States.

Despite officially recognizing Beijing as China’s sole legitimate authority since 1979, Washington maintains close unofficial ties with Taipei, supporting its claim to sovereignty and promising to defend the island militarily if attacked from the mainland.

“We’re stronger together,” Tsai told McCarthy during their Wednesday meeting. Taiwan’s leader expressed gratitude to the United States for its assistance in “efforts to protect our way of life.”

“Friendship between the peoples of Taiwan and America is a matter of profound importance to the free world,” McCarthy said. Maintaining economic freedom, peace, and regional stability is critical.”

Tsai is meeting with a US House speaker for the second time in less than a year. McCarthy’s predecessor, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan last August, causing a significant increase in tensions between Beijing and Washington as China conducted its largest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait and imposed sanctions on Taipei.