Beijing urges Washington to refuse Taiwan President’s stopover in US

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Beijing, July 31 (IANS) The Chinese government on Tuesday urged Washington not to allow Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to make a stopover in the US during her official visits to Belize and Paraguay, a day after Taipei said she would transit through Los Angeles and Houston.

Taiwanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu said on Monday that Tsai will be making her transit in the two US cities despite China’s opposition, amid growing tensions between Beijing and Taipei.

“We have launched a stern representation to the US that we oppose any kind of transit (by Tsai) in the US and other countries that have diplomatic ties with China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang was quoted as saying by Efe news.

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“We urge the US to abide by the One China Principle, not allow the transit and stop sending any wrong signal to the Taiwan pro-independence forces,” he added.

Geng said that the One China Policy is a universal consensus of the international community and any attempts to separate or create two Chinas would be opposed by the country.

In her fifth diplomatic tour since coming to power in May 2016, Tsai will visit Paraguay from August 14-16 to attend Mario Abdo Benitez’s swearing-in as President and will visit Belize from August 16-18.

Tsai will be making a stop in Los Angeles on her way to the two countries and will be stopping in Houston on the way back after the 12-day trip on August 20.

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Paraguay and Belize are two of the only 18 diplomatic allies of Taiwan in the world, out of which 10 are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In a little over a year, Taiwan has lost two of its important Latin-American allies, Panama and the Dominican Republic, as well as the African state Burkina Faso, due to China’s strategy of internationally isolating Tsai’s pro-independence government in order to make it accept the One China Policy.

–IANS

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