China on Monday strongly condemned United States' decision to lift restrictions on American officials visiting Taiwan, saying Beijing would resolutely fight back against any attempts to "sabotage its interests".
"China rejects and condemns the U.S. move. There is but one China in the world. The People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. This is a fact recognised by the international community and a basic norm of international relations," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during a briefing.
In a statement on Saturday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that executive branch agencies should consider all "contact guidelines" regarding relations with Taiwan previously issued by the Department of State under authorities delegated to the Secretary of State to be 'null and void'.
In his statement, Pompeo said that the US government took these actions of restricting contact with Taiwan 'in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing'.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.
Terming Taiwan the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-U.S. relations, Zhao urged U.S. side to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques and stop elevating relations and military ties with Taiwan.
"We advise Pompeo and his likes to recognize the historical trend, stop mpulating Taiwan-related issues, stop retrogressive acts and stop going further down the wrong and dangerous path, otherwise they will be harshly punished by history," he added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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