China urges U.S. to bar Taiwan delegation
from Trump inauguration
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[January 18, 2017]
By Ben Blanchard and J.R. Wu
BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - The United
States should not allow a delegation from Taiwan to attend U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, China's Foreign Ministry
said on Wednesday, raising a new bone of contention in Beijing's
relations with the incoming government.
Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a
congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, and he
has also said the "One China" policy was up for negotiation, a position
Beijing strongly rejected.
A Taiwan delegation, led by former premier and ex-ruling party leader Yu
Shyi-kun, and including a Taiwan national security adviser and some
lawmakers, will attend Friday's inauguration, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry
said this week.
It is typical for Taiwan to send a delegation to U.S. presidential
A spokesman for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's office said no meetings
were scheduled with the new Trump administration while the delegation
was there for the event.
China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, with no right to have any
kind of diplomatic relations with other countries.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was opposed
to Taiwan using any excuse to send people to the United States to
"engage in activities to interfere in or damage China-U.S. ties".
"We again urge the relevant side in the United States not to allow the
Taiwan authority to send a so-called delegation to the United States to
attend the presidential inauguration and not have any form of official
contact with Taiwan," Hua told a regular news briefing.
"China's position has already accurately and unmistakably been given to
the U.S. administration and Trump's team."
China's ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, will attend the
inauguration on its behalf, she added.
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A demonstrator holds flags of Taiwan and the United States in
support of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an stop-over
after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S.,
January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a
civil war with the Communists.
China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its
control, and proudly democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in
wanting to be run by Beijing.
China is deeply suspicious of Taiwan's Tsai, whom it suspects of
wanting to push for the island's formal independence, a red line for
Tsai, who visited the U.S. this month while traveling to and from
Central America, says she wants to maintain peace with China.
The administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly
reinforced the U.S. commitment to the "one China" policy, under
which Washington acknowledges China's position of sovereignty over
Taiwan, since Trump's call with the Taiwanese leader.
Trump is to be sworn into office on Friday.
(Additional reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Randy Fabi and
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