After Trump row, China urges US to bar Taiwan leader
China has urged Washington to block Taiwan’s president from passing through the US, after reports said she may stop in New York for talks with Donald Trump’s team, following a protocol-smashing phone call between the pair.
The president-elect broke with decades of precedent last week to accept a congratulatory phone call from Tsai, angering Beijing which regards the island as a rogue province awaiting unification.
Taiwan’s Liberty Times reported that President Tsai Ing-wen may seek to meet members of Trump’s team while in New York on her way to Central America, though her office would not confirm the plan to AFP.
The trip would take place before Trump’s inauguration on January 20, the newspaper said.
Taiwan has diplomatic relations with 22 states and the island’s leaders make regular visits to its small group of allies in Central America and the Caribbean, often stopping in the US for meetings with sympathetic lawmakers.
China’s foreign ministry called on Washington to block any stopover in the United States.
Tsai’s “true intention is self-evident”, it told AFP on today. “We hope America abides by the principle of the One China policy and the three US-PRC Joint Communiques and does not allow her transit.”
Countries that have formal diplomatic ties with Beijing cannot enjoy such links with Taipei and vice versa. Both Beijing and Taipei in principle consider themselves the only legitimate power in charge of both China and Taiwan.
Beijing further warned against Washington giving an “erroneous signal to ‘Taiwanese independence’ forces”.
Trump’s surprise call with Tsai and subsequent Twitter barrage criticising Chinese military expansions and accusing it of manipulating its exchange rate seemed to have caught Beijing off-guard.
China’s foreign ministry repeatedly deflected or downplayed reporters’ questions Monday.
But by Tuesday, state media were trotting out attacks on Trump as a “diplomatic rookie”.