China opposes Taiwanese vice president's 'stopover' in US

China opposes Taiwanese vice president's 'stopover' in US

Lai Ching-te arrived in New York on Saturday for 2-day stay before traveling to Paraguay

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) – China on Sunday "strongly" condemned the US decision to arrange a two-day "stopover" for Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te, saying it firmly opposes any visit by "Taiwan independence separatists to the United States in any name or under whatever pretext."

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that Beijing firmly opposes "any form" of official interaction between the US and Taiwan, Beijing -based Xinhua News reported.

"We firmly oppose the US government having any form of official contact with the Taiwan region," said the spokesperson.

Lai, a leading presidential contender ahead of next year's presidential election, arrived in New York on Saturday for a two-day stay before traveling to Paraguay to attend the inauguration ceremony of the South American country's President-elect Santiago Pena on Aug. 15.

On his way home from Paraguay, the only South American country to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Lai will transit in San Francisco on Aug. 16 and 17.

Lai is expected to attend a meeting with Taiwanese residents of the United States and meet with US congressional officials during his stay, the Liberty Times of Taiwan reported

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson further said that "Lai clings stubbornly to the separatist position for Taiwan independence."

"He is a troublemaker through and through. The US and the Taiwan authorities arranged for Lai to engage in political activities in the United States in the name of having a ‘stopover,’" she went on to say.

This, she added, "seriously" violates the one-China principle, and gravely undermines China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The fact once again shows that the fundamental cause of the continued tensions in the Taiwan Strait is the Taiwan authorities' attempt to solicit US support for ‘Taiwan independence’ and that the United States is bent on using Taiwan to contain China," she argued.

China is closely following the developments and will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity," said the spokesperson.

China considers Taiwan its breakaway province.

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