China accuses US of jeopardizing peace in Taiwan

China believes trade talks between the U.S. and Taiwan will ‘disrupt peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait’

A+French+made+Mirage+fighter+jet+takes+off+from+an+airbase+near+Pingtung+in+Southern+Taiwan+in+late+May.+The+Taiwan+military+launched+the+missile+to+test+combat+readiness+and+demonstrate+firepower.+The+country+is+facing+growing+tensions+with+the+Chinese+government+as+it+engages+in+trade+talks+with+the+U.S.+Taiwan+sent+up+fighter+planes+and+put+its+air+defense+missile+systems+on+alert+after+China+sent+30+military+aircraft+toward+Taiwan.%0A

Associated Press

A French made Mirage fighter jet takes off from an airbase near Pingtung in Southern Taiwan in late May. The Taiwan military launched the missile to test combat readiness and demonstrate firepower. The country is facing growing tensions with the Chinese government as it engages in trade talks with the U.S. Taiwan sent up fighter planes and put its air defense missile systems on alert after China sent 30 military aircraft toward Taiwan.

JOE MCDONALD, Associated Press

BEIJING — China’s government Thursday accused Washington of jeopardizing peace after U.S. envoys began trade talks with Taiwan aimed at deepening relations with the self-ruled island democracy being claimed by Beijing.

Talks between the U.S. and Taiwan began Wednesday to cover trade, regulation and other areas based on the countries’ “shared values” as market-oriented economies, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The office did not mention China, but the talks show U.S. support for Taiwan amid threats of invasion by Beijing.

On Monday, China sent 30 military aircraft toward Taiwan in the latest of a series of flights aimed at intimidating the island’s democratically elected government. Taiwan’s defense ministry said it sent up fighter planes and put air defense missile systems on alert.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a media briefing in this video-made image. The Chinese government accused Washington of jeopardizing peace after U.S. envoys began trade talks with Taiwan. The talks are aimed at deepening relations with the self-ruled island democracy. (LIU ZHENG/Associated Press)

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday and expressed support for the island during her second visit in a year to Taiwan.

Trade dialogues “disrupt peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” said Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman. He called on Washington to stop negotiations with Taiwan “that have sovereign connotations and official nature.”

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war that ended with the ruling Communist Party’s victory on the mainland. They have multibillion-dollar trade and investment ties but no official relations. Beijing says Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations.

The U.S. has diplomatic relations only with Beijing but extensive informal ties with Taiwan. The U.S. is committed by federal law to see that the island has the means to defend itself.

Lijian accused Washington of encouraging Taiwan in favor of declaring formal independence. Beijing previously said this behavior would be grounds for an invasion.

Taiwan is located off the eastern coast of China. The countries split in 1949 after a civil war that ended with the Communist Party’s victory on the mainland. (CIA Factbook)

The trade initiative is “intended to develop concrete ways to deepen the economic and trade relationship” and “advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values,” Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

Taiwan is the ninth-largest U.S. trading partner and an important manufacturing center for computer chips and other high-tech products.

While visiting Tokyo in May, President Joe Biden said the U.S. would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan. The U.S. commitment to helping the island defend itself is “even stronger” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said.

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