The following statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on 6 April 2023, expresses China’s strong objection to the US’s facilitation of Tsai Ing-wen’s transit through the US, during which she had a high-profile meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The statement points out that this visit forms part of an increasingly consistent pattern by the US of undermining the One China principle and encouraging Taiwanese separatism, with a view to stoking cross-Strait tensions and weakening China.
The statement urges the US to return to a framework of international law and to its obligations under the three China-US joint communiqués.
Through the past few days, in disregard of China’s serious representations and repeated warnings, the United States deliberately greenlighted the transit of Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Taiwan region, through the United States. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the number three in the US government, had a high-profile meeting with Tsai. Other US officials and lawmakers also had contact with Tsai and provided the platform for her separatist rhetoric for “Taiwan independence”. This is essentially the United States acting with Taiwan to connive at “Taiwan independence” separatists’ political activities in the United States, conduct official contact with Taiwan and upgrade the substantive relations with Taiwan, and frame it as a “transit”. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends an egregiously wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it.
The one-China principle is a prevailing consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations. It is also the prerequisite and basis for the establishment and development of China-US diplomatic relations. In the three China-US joint communiqués, the United States made a clear commitment of maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. Over the years, however, the United States has obdurately attempted to contain China by exploiting the Taiwan question and betrayed its commitments. The United States has been crossing the line and acting provocatively on issues such as US-Taiwan official exchanges, arms sales to and military dealings with Taiwan and creating chances for Taiwan to expand its so-called “international space”, and kept fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle. Since taking office, Tsai has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus which embodies the one-China principle. Instead of reining in separatist rhetoric and activities in Taiwan for “Taiwan independence”, Tsai has supported and encouraged them, and sought to push for “incremental independence” under various pretenses. This has put cross-Strait relations in serious difficulty.
The Taiwan question is at the core of China’s core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations. “Taiwan independence” and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. The pursuit of “Taiwan independence” will lead nowhere. In response to the egregiously wrong action taken by the United States and Taiwan, China will take strong and resolute measures to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We once again urge the United States to adhere to the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, act on the US leader’s assurances of not supporting “Taiwan independence” and not supporting “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, stop at once any form of official exchanges with Taiwan, stop upgrading substantive relations with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could cause tensions in the Taiwan Strait, stop containing China by exploiting the Taiwan question, and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path.