The meeting between top U.S. and Taiwanese officials is sure to provoke a strong reaction from Beijing.
Date: Aug 7, 2020
By: Dan Haverty
China considers Taiwan to be a part of its national territory, and it has blocked the island from joining several international bodies. The United States broke off formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 as it began cultivating a closer relationship with Beijing, but it has continued to sell weapons to the country and continues to be its biggest arms supplier. Members of the U.S. government occasionally make trips to the island but visits by cabinet officials are rare.
China threatens countermeasures. In advance of Sunday’s visit, China threatened to take “strong countermeasures in response to the U.S. behavior.” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin did not provide details on what retaliatory action Beijing might take, but it threatened to sanction the U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin last month for selling weapons to Taiwan. Recent decisions to close a U.S. consulate in Chengdu and to sanction some U.S. politicians could also provide insight into the Chinese response. [FULL STORY]