The government headquarters in Beijing has issued a warning to the incoming US administration, that any actions or comments that challenge the “One China” policy could affect peace in the Taiwanese region, as well as US-China relations.
Under the One China policy, the United States of America is obligated to maintain ties with only China, and not the island of Taiwan, which the Asian nation views as a breakaway state. However, US President-elect Donald Trump has already ruffled feathers in China, with his seemingly careless regard of the policy.
Although Taiwan’s government calls itself an independent country, officially the “Republic of China”, any country seeking diplomatic relations with mainland China is forced to break official ties with Taipei, leaving the island nation diplomatically isolated.
However, not only has Trump, in the past, expressed his doubts regarding honouring the One China policy, the incoming president also angered China when he directly conversed with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. The president-elect bragged about the conversation on Twitter, post the US elections last year, claiming Ing-wen had called his office to congratulate him on the win.
China’s government has said it’s “seriously concerned” by Trump’s comments, and is urging the US to treat the issue in a more sensitive manner. An Fengshan, a spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, went a step further, proclaiming dire consequences if the US fails to respect China’s decision in the matter. “Upholding the One China principle is the political basis of developing China-US relations, and is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
“If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy, stable development of China-US relations is out of the question, and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait will be seriously impacted,” he added.
Fengshan’s statements followed closely on the heels of those by Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, who asserted that the US would continue to confront Beijing’s “assertive, aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea.”
“We will not allow the shared domains to be closed down unilaterally, no matter how many bases are built on artificial features in the South China Sea,” Admiral Harris said to local Sydney press, adding, “We will co-operate where we can but we will be ready to confront where we must.”