China’s foreign ministry responded to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a senior figure in President Donald Trump’s administration, after he backed Taiwan’s independence from Beijing. The Trump administration has taken a hardline stance against the Chinese Communist Party this year, with Beijing and Washington exchanging sanctions and threats throughout 2020. Taiwan recently agreed to buy advanced weapons systems from the US for billions of dollars, which enraged China.
Wang Wenbin, foreign ministry spokesman, slammed Mr Pompeo for his comments, reaffirming Beijing’s view that Taiwan is an inalienable part of mainland China.
He also said the Secretary of State’s comments caused more damage to Chinese and American relations.
Mr Wang added: “We solemnly tell Pompeo and his ilk, that any behaviour that undermines China’s core interests and interferes with China’s domestic affairs will be met with a resolute counterattack by China.”
In 1949, the Republic of China’s government fled to Taiwan after losing to Chinese communists in a civil war.
Mr Pompeo courted China’s outrage came after he told a US radio station Taiwan is an independent country.
He said: “Taiwan has not been a part of China”.
“That was recognised with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policies that the United States has adhered to now for three-and-a-half decades.”
President Ronald Reagan enacted the Six Assurances in 1982, which were foreign policy principles, to reassure Taiwan the US would support the country.
Joanne Ou, Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokewoman, expressed thanks to Mr Pompeo for his comments supporting the country’s independence from China.
She said: “The Republic of China on Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country, and not part of the People’s Republic of China.
“This is a fact and the current situation.”
Taiwanese officials will also be visiting Washington next week for bilateral economic talks, which has angered Beijing.
Taiwanese and Chinese relations have been at boiling point this year as Beijing grows increasingly aggressive in the South China Sea.
Chinese broadcaster CCTV released video of the People’s Liberation Army carrying out a simulated all-out invasion of Taiwan, with live fire drills and drones sent near the Taiwan Straits.
Taiwan has also reported it has bumped up its defence budget by 10.2 percent for next year in response to Chinese aggression near the Taiwan Straits.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has previously urged Beijing to work with Taipei to find diplomatic resolutions to tensions, but has turned to the US for arms sales in response to military drills.
Washington has also seen rising tensions with Beijing this year, as the two powers impose sanctions on companies involved in human rights abuses and trade.
China has slammed US companies involved in Taiwanese arms sales with sanctions, with groups like Lockheed Martin being involved in the sale of advanced weapons systems to the country.
Most recently, the US sold Taiwan $600 million worth of MQ-9 Reaper drones, after selling over $10 billion in anti-air systems and fighter jets throughout the year.
China also flew fighter jets near Taiwan while US officials visited Taipei earlier this year in a show of military strength.