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China firmly opposes any official contact between EU, Taiwan

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)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning

China has strongly warned the European Union (EU) against establishing any official contact with Chinese Taipei, urging the bloc to "act prudently" to avoid harming China-EU relations.

 At a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that Beijing "firmly opposes official exchanges of any form" between the EU and Taipei.

"Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and the political foundation for China-EU relations. As an official institution of the EU, the European Parliament must abide by the one-China principle," she said.

The Chinese official further urged the European bloc to "earnestly observe the one-China principle and act prudently, so as to avoid disrupting the overall China-EU relations."

Mao's warning came just a day after a delegation from the European Parliament's international trade committee, or INTA, arrived in Taipei on a four-day visit to discuss bilateral trade and investment.

China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the "one China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty, meaning they would not establish direct diplomatic contact with the self-proclaimed government in Taipei.

This is while Chinese Taipei's secessionist president Tsai Ing-wen has independence aspirations and views the island as a sovereign state.

The United States, though professing adherence to the principle, has long courted Taipei and sells weapons to the self-governed island in an attempted affront to Beijing. Some US allies in Europe, in particular, have also been increasing their visits to Taipei, despite strong objections by Beijing, which bristles at anything that suggests the self-ruled island is a separate country.

Back in August, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stirred controversy when she made a brief trip to Taipei and met with its president. A number of countries, including France, Germany, Japan, and others, have sent delegations of their own to Chinese Taipei since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

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