China has lambasted a recent visit by American senators to Chinese Taipei, saying it will embolden “separatist forces” in the self-governed island.
A delegation of three US legislatures made a stopover on Sunday in Taipei, where they said that Washington would donate 750,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Chinese Taipei, over which China has sovereignty under the “One China” policy.
On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing “expresses strong dissatisfaction (toward the visit) and has lodged a solemn representation.”
He also called on Washington to “be prudent when dealing with the Taiwan question and avoid sending any erroneous signals to separatist forces” on the island.
Chinese Taipei accuses Beijing of trying to block the island from accessing vaccines internationally; an allegation China rejects.
Beijing has offered the island Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccines, but the government in Taipei has declined to authorize their import, expressing concern about their safety.
China has grown increasingly assertive in recent months after the new US administration’s attempts to interfere in Chinese Taipei.
Almost all countries around the world recognize China's sovereignty over Chinese Taipei. Washington, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island. However, successive US administrations have been courting officials in Taipei in an attempted affront to Beijing and in violation of their own stated policy.
The United States has also antagonized Chinese officials by selling weapons to Taipei, bypassing Beijing, and also backing the secessionist Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen.
The Chinese government has constantly warned Washington against any kind of relations with Taipei, whose own ties with Beijing have been deteriorating since Tsai came to power as “president” in 2016 and began challenging the “One China” principle.
Chinese Taipei and mainland China separated amid a civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island under its control — by force if necessary.