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The People’s Republic of China released a lengthy statement Tuesday condemning the arrival of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island of Taiwan.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the statement, in which the Chinese government accuses Pelosi, D-Calif., of undermining U.S.-China relations and encouraging the “separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence.’”
Pelosi landed in Taiwan late Tuesday night local time, making her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island since Newt Gingrich in 1997.
“This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote. “There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.”
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The U.S. does not have official relations with Taiwan – also known as the Republic of China – and maintains a One China Policy that recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate successor nation.
However, America has been stepping up engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it from global institutions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cited in their statement the China-US Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, which states, “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.”
“Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan. China absolutely does not accept this, and the Chinese people absolutely reject this,” the ministry wrote.
The message went on to reiterate that the “Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China” and that the U.S. had no jurisdiction in the country.
Pelosi continues to claim that the diplomatic visit is not intended to upset U.S.-China relations, nor is it intended to further legitimize U.S.-Taiwan cooperation.
“Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances,” Pelosi said in a statement after arrival. “The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.”
China made the latest in its series of vague threats, promising to “defend” itself from U.S. presence in Taiwan.
The statement continues, “No country, no forces and no individual should ever misestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit.”
The mainland country added that “all the consequences” arising from the visit should be blamed exclusively on the U.S.
The USS Ronald Reagan and a strike group are currently positioned near Taiwan after they left a port in Singapore Tuesday. A Navy spokesperson confirmed the news but said it was a planned trip.
Pelosi is traveling with a House delegation that includes Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Mark Takano of California, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.