China threatens 'counter-measures' after Pompeo congratulates Taiwan president on second term
“On Pompeo’s congratulation to Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration, we express strong indignation and condemnation. China will take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the US side,” said Lijian Zhao, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China’s Ministry of Defense added in a statement that Pompeo’s remarks “seriously” violated the one-China policy and that Taiwan is an “inalienable” part of China.
The Wednesday warning came after Pompeo touted the relationship between Washington and Taipei under the leadership of President Tsai Ing-wen.
“Congratulations to Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the commencement of your second-term as Taiwan’s President. Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world. With President Tsai at the helm, our partnership with Taiwan will continue to flourish,” Pompeo tweeted Tuesday.
The threat from Beijing comes as relations between the U.S. and China continue to deteriorate, with both sides accusing the other of being responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump and lawmakers in Washington have accused Beijing of initially concealing the seriousness of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, allowing the disease to accelerate, while some Chinese officials have spread the conspiracy theory that the pandemic began because of the U.S.
The ties between the U.S and Taiwan, which China views as its own territory, have also emerged as a flashpoint in the contentious relationship in recent months.
The U.S. has no official relations with Taiwan, though it has boosted arms sales to the island and passed a string of laws to blunt pressure on the territory from mainland China.
Trump signed legislation in March that requires the State Department to provide Congress with a report on steps to strengthen Taiwan’s diplomatic relations and mandates the U.S. “alter” engagement with countries that undercut the island’s security.
The law led to a rebuke from Beijing, which urged the U.S. to “correct its mistakes” and warned of a “resolute strike back by China.”
Beijing views the warming of relations as a breach of the one-China policy. The Trump administration officially supports that policy, whereby the U.S. agrees to only deal with China for diplomatic affairs with territories it claims as its own.