China wants US to refuse transit to Taiwanese vice president

China wants US to refuse transit to Taiwanese vice president

Lai Ching-te to visit Paraguay on August 12 to attend inauguration ceremony of President-elect Santiago Pena

By Alperen Aktas

ISTANBUL (AA) – China on Thursday called on the US to "refuse" transit to Taiwan's vice president during his upcoming visit to Paraguay in South America.

Beijing urged Washington to abide by the one-China principle and “refuse to let William Lai transit the US.”

Taiwan has announced that Lai and his delegation will travel to Paraguay on August 12 to attend the inauguration ceremony of the country's President-elect Santiago Pena.

Lai then intends to travel through the US.

“China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region, firmly opposes any visit by ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists to the US in any name or under whatever pretext, and firmly opposes any form of US connivance and support for ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and their separatist activities,” Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement.

China considers Taiwan as its "breakaway province" while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.

Emphasizing that the Taiwan issue is central to China's fundamental interests and a "red line that should not be crossed," Beijing stressed that it will “closely follow the developments and take firm and strong measures to safeguard our nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“We would like to tell the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) authorities seriously that 'Taiwan independence' is a dead end,” Beijing said.

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