China has strongly criticized the United States' efforts to increase Chinese Taipei's role at the United Nations, saying the self-ruled island has "no right" to join the world body.
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, made the remarks at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged all UN member states to join Washington in supporting Taipei's "meaningful" participation in the UN system.
"The United Nations is an international governmental organization composed of sovereign states," Ma said, stressing that Taipei "is a part of China."
He said the People's Republic of China was the sole "legal government representing the whole of China," emphasizing that Taipei "has no right to join the United Nations."
Ma further urged politicians in Taipei to "abandon the illusion of relying on Washington for independence," adding that efforts to expand the self-ruled island's participation at the UN would fail.
Meanwhile, China's Global Times has separately published an editorial accusing Blinken of trying to upgrade Washington's approach toward Taipei and opening a "new offensive" on the self-governed island.
The English-language newspaper said China won't "step back an inch" on the issue, arguing that the call would be rejected by most UN members.
In a statement on Tuesday, Blinken urged other countries to join Washington in pushing for a greater inclusion of Chinese Taipei in UN institutions. Taipei's "exclusion undermines the important work of the UN and its related bodies, all of which stand to benefit greatly from its contributions," Blinken said.
The fact that Taipei "participated robustly in certain UN specialized agencies for the vast majority of the past 50 years is evidence of the value the international community places" in the self-ruled island's contributions, he added.
The US official further expressed regret that Taipei had not been permitted to contribute to UN efforts and had increasingly been excluded on the world stage.
"That is why we encourage all UN member states to join us in supporting" Taipei's "robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community," he said.
US President Joe Biden said earlier that the United States would come to Taipei's aid if it were to come under attack from China, claiming it had a commitment to defend the self-ruled island.
China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.
Beijing also opposes other countries pursuing ties with the island and has consistently warned Washington and other countries against engaging with Taipei.
Taipei held the Chinese UN seat until October 25, 1971, when it was voted out as representative of the country in favor of the People's Republic of China.
The president of Chinese Taipei Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016 and has since refused to accept that both sides are part of "one China."