Slamming US transit of Taiwan’s vice president, China vows ‘forceful measures’

Slamming US transit of Taiwan’s vice president, China vows ‘forceful measures’

US ‘stubbornly pursues the strategy of using Taiwan island to control China,' says Foreign Ministry

By Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) - Strongly condemning the “stopover” of Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te in the US, China Friday said that it will take “forceful measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“At the very heart of China's core interests, the Taiwan question is the bedrock of the political foundation of China-US relations and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.

He said Washington’s decision to arrange the so-called "stopover" for Lai, sent “seriously wrong signals to separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence’,” broadcaster CGTN reported.

Lai returned home early on Friday after a week-long trip, with a two-day "stopover" in the US, to Paraguay where he attended the presidential inauguration.

He received support as well as faced protests from the Taiwanese diaspora and Chinese people during his 25-hour layover in New York. On his return flight, Lai had a brief stopover in San Francisco.

Lai is also a presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progress Party in the election slated for January.

Wang said the US “stubbornly pursues the strategy of using Taiwan island to control China, and continues to hollow out the one-China principle,” according to the Beijing-based daily Global Times.

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