China declared itself “firmly opposed” to any official exchange between the United States and Taiwan on Monday, January 15, hours after the island’s president-elect, Lai Ching-te, hosted an American delegation following his victory electoral. “China has always firmly opposed any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan, and has resolutely rejected any interference by the United States in Taiwan’s affairs in any manner or under any pretext. whatever,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a news conference.

China considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory and aims for reunification, by force if necessary. Beijing does not maintain diplomatic relations with countries that formally recognize Taiwan as an independent state.

Washington presented the delegation sent to Taipei, capital of Taiwan, as unofficial, and part of normal protocol. This delegation is made up of former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, former deputy secretary of state, James Steinberg, and the president of the American institute in Taiwan, Laura Rosenberger.

Taiwan accuses China of ‘diplomatic repression’

“We urge the United States to recognize the extreme complexity and sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, sincerely respect the one-China principle […] and reaffirm previous statements by U.S. leaders that they will not do not support Taiwan independence,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

Washington should “respect its commitments regarding Taiwan, not seek to use the Taiwan issue as a tool to contain China […] and not send misleading signals to Taiwan’s pro-independence separatist forces,” she said. added.

Voters in Taiwan handed Lai Ching-te, the pro-independence leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, a comfortable electoral victory on Saturday. The Chinese spokesperson said on Monday that the vote was “a local matter relating to China”.

Taiwanese authorities, for their part, accused China of “diplomatic repression” after the decision of the island of Nauru, a small Pacific nation, to break its ties with Taipei and now recognize Beijing. “While the world congratulates Taiwan on its successful election, Beijing has launched a diplomatic crackdown, which is a response to democratic values ​​and a blatant challenge to the stability of the international order,” said Olivia Lin, spokesperson of the Taiwanese presidency.