China’s foreign minister has called on the administration of US President Joe Biden to roll back former President Donald Trump’s “dangerous practice” of showing support for Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by Beijing as its own territory.
The claim to Taiwan, which split with the mainland in 1949, is an “insurmountable red line”, Wang Yi said on Sunday at a news conference during the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature.
The United States has no official relations with Taiwan, but extensive informal ties. Trump irked Beijing by sending Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan in a show of support.
“The Chinese government has no room for compromise,” Wang said.
“We urge the new US administration to fully understand the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue” and “completely change the previous administration’s dangerous practices of ‘crossing the line’ and ‘playing with fire,'” he said.
Biden says he wants a more civil relationship with Beijing but has shown no sign of softening Trump’s confrontational measures on trade, technology and human rights.
Surveys show American public attitudes are turning more negative towards China, which is seen as an economic and strategic competitor.
Wang gave no indication of how Beijing might react if Biden does not change course, but the ruling Communist Party has threatened to invade if Taiwan declares formal independence or delays talks on uniting with the mainland.
Wang’s comments in a wide-ranging, two-hour news conference reflected Beijing’s increasing assertiveness abroad and rejection of criticism over Hong Kong, the northwestern region of Xinjiang and other sensitive topics.
He also urged the US to remove “unreasonable” curbs on cooperation as soon as possible and work together on issues like climate change, while accusing Washington of bringing chaos in the name of spreading democracy.
“The US should realise this as soon as possible, otherwise the world will continue to experience instability,” Wang said.
Wang added that differences between China and the US must be managed carefully, and the two sides must advocate healthy competition, not zero-sum finger-pointing.
“It is hoped that the United States and China will meet each other halfway and lift the various unreasonable restrictions placed on Sino-US cooperation to date as soon as possible, and not create new obstacles artificially.”