China threatens countermeasures as Taiwan prepares for U.S. visit

Date: August 6, 2020

By: Cate Cadell, Ben Blanchard

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wears a mask among other officials and media as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak response briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) – China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades.

The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. China calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue in its bilateral ties with the United States.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing that any attempt to deny or challenge the “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, would end in failure.

“China will take strong countermeasures in response to the U.S. behaviour,” Wang said, referring to Azar’s visit.    [FULL  STORY]

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