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China says made ‘stern representations’ to US over Blinken congratulating Taiwan’s Lai

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Source: Video Screenshot

China said Tuesday it had complained to the United States over Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulating self-ruled Taiwan’s newly inaugurated president, Lai Ching-te.

Lai, who Beijing has branded as a “dangerous separatist” in the past, was sworn in on Monday.

In his congratulations message, Blinken said he looked forward to Washington and Taipei maintaining “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

On Tuesday Beijing said his message “seriously violates the One China principle… and sends a wrong signal to separatist forces”.

“We are strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this, and have lodged stern representations with the United States,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference.

Beijing considers democratic Taiwan part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control.

“The Taiwan issue is the core of China’s core interests and the first insurmountable red line in relations between China and the United States,” Wang added.

“We urge the United States to immediately correct its mistakes.”

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but it has remained Taiwan’s most important partner and biggest arms supplier.

Blinken’s statement came as China said Monday it would sanction three US defence companies over their sales of arms to Taiwan.

US President Joe Biden sent a delegation — including former National Economic Council director, Brian Deese, and ex-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage — to Taipei for the inauguration.

More than 40 other countries, including Japan and Canada, also sent delegations.

Eight heads of state who recognise Taiwan were also present.

China on Tuesday strongly condemned their attendance, calling it “crude interference in China’s internal affairs” and saying it “endanger(ed) peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

“We sternly demand that the relevant countries and politicians stop engaging in political manipulation on Taiwan-related issues, stop sending any mistaken signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces, and stop mistaken actions that go against international good faith,” Wang said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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