Written by by By Olivia Williams, CNN
China’s foreign ministry has described as “absurd” reports in the US that President Donald Trump is weighing the possibility of strengthening military ties with Taipei.
The comments were issued in a lengthy statement, published on the ministry’s website on Friday evening.
“The United States should first respect and properly handle the recently held Taiwan relations issue, and it should have no illusions about China’s opposing position and hostile policy on Taiwan,” it said.
It added that it had complained to the US about Trump’s remarks on the subject, in a phone call with his Taiwanese counterpart, Tsai Ing-wen, last week.
Trump has been vocal about his desire to strengthen ties with Taiwan since his election last year, and has continued to do so throughout his presidency.
That’s created awkward questions for China, given that it is banned from discussing Taiwan diplomatically. However, if the reported moves come to fruition, they would also likely upset the Chinese government.
The authoritarian state sees Taiwan as part of its territory and is determined to reunify it with the mainland.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) appears determined to maintain its stance on Taiwan.
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“(The report) again takes the initiative to support a separatist attempt to split our country,” it said in the statement.
“The Chinese government is resolutely opposed to the development of exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and the United States, and demands the United States earnestly respect China’s core interests and major concerns.”