On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Office sharply criticized the United States after a senior Defense Department official visited Taiwan.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian accused the U.S. and Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party of attempting to push the island’s independence from China and discouraged the alleged efforts.
China “resolutely opposes any official interaction and military collaboration” between the two countries, Zhu said Wednesday, further underscoring tensions between Beijing and Washington, D.C. over Taiwan.
The comment comes after Michael Chase, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, visited Taiwan amid Chinese military movements in the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea.
Zhu also reaffirmed the Chinese government’s sanction on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, both U.S.-located companies that supply military equipment to the self-governing island.
Officially, the U.S. and most of the international community observe the One China policy that says China has sovereignty over Taiwan, though the island self-governs.
The spokesperson also told reporters such alleged cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. to push for the island’s independence is “doomed to failure.”
China has said it will maintain its control over Taiwan by force if necessary, often using its military and diplomatic efforts to exercise the control. The sides split amid a civil war in 1949.
The Pentagon did not comment directly on Chase’s visit but repeated its “commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region,” the Associated Press reported.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also did not address the visit.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin similarly accused the U.S. of coordinating a push for independence and said a “new round of tensions” in the Taiwan Strait was the result of such attempts to “seek independence with U.S. support, as well as the U.S. intention to contain China with Taiwan.”
“We urge the U.S. to … stop any form of official U.S.-Taiwan contacts, stop meddling in the Taiwan issue and stop creating new factors of tension in the Taiwan Strait,” Wang said Wednesday.
Tensions between the U.S. and China remain unsteady as Washington accused Beijing of using a balloon that carried surveillance capabilities that soared over the continental U.S. before it was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Immediately following the spy balloon controversy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken canceled a trip to Beijing and the U.S. continues to criticize communication between China and Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.
China, in response, said it has “no limits” in its friendship with Russia and instead blames the U.S. and NATO for provoking the Kremlin.
“The U.S. is the biggest source of weaponry for the battlefield in Ukraine,” Wang said during the briefing. “We do not accept the U.S.’s finger-pointing or even coercion targeting China-Russia relations. The U.S. should seriously reflect on what it has done, stop fanning the flames or profiting from it, and stay truly committed to promoting peace talks as China has been doing.”
A delegation of U.S. lawmakers — including Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, Jake Auchincloss, D-MA, and Jonathan Jackson, D-Illin. — visited Taiwan earlier this week as part of their five-day visit.
On Monday, the delegation met with the head of the legislature and the following day they met with President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials.
The congressional team also met with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s founder Morris Chang, considered the father of the island’s world-leading microchip industry that is now investing heavily in U.S. production.
The Associated Press contributed to this report