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China to respond to planned Taiwan-US military talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Soldiers sit on an M60A3 tank for a group photograph after an anti-invasion drill in Taichung, Taiwan January 17, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

China has voiced strong opposition to planned military talks between the United States and Taiwan, warning that it would give the “necessary response” to the negotiations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remark during a regular press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, after Washington declared it had decided to hold a “political-military dialog” with Taiwanese authorities later in the day.

R. Clarke Cooper, the State Department’s assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, is scheduled to deliver “virtual remarks” at the event, the US State Department said, without giving further details.

The Chinese spokeswoman said Beijing was “resolutely opposed” to the talks, adding that it would give a “necessary response based on how the situation develops.”

She further said China urged the United States to “immediately stop any form of official exchanges and military links with Taiwan, to avoid further damaging stability in the Taiwan Strait and Sino-US relations.”

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has also refused to disclose the details of the talks.

“The two sides often maintain close and smooth communication on various issues of common concern, so as to continue to deepen cooperation at all levels of politics, economics, and security,” Taiwanese foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.

Beijing has sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, and under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries — including the US — recognize that sovereignty.

Countries recognizing that sovereignty are thus not allowed to have formal relations with Taiwan.

The US, however, brazenly maintains relations with Taiwan and sells weapons to the island in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.

Under President Donald Trump’s administration, Washington has constantly supported Taiwan’s secessionist president.

The Taiwanese government signed a 62-billion-dollar deal early last year to purchase F-16 fighter jets from the US.

Beijing has repeatedly warned the US against expanding ties with Taiwan, calling the weapons sales a violation of China’s sovereignty.

The US also regularly conducts provocative maneuvers around the self-governed island, particularly by sailing its warships through the sensitive and strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from mainland China.

The latest development also comes as the outgoing Trump administration has approved the sale of advanced drones to Taiwan, in yet another provocative attempt to boost the self-ruled island against mainland China.

Tensions between the US and China remain at their highest point in decades, with sharp divisions over a host of political and economic issues, including Hong Kong and the coronavirus pandemic.

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