China urges US to stop arming Taiwan after aid bill passed
Published: Apr 24, 2024 11:37 PM
Taiwan question Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

China has condemned the US for its passing of a $95 billion aid package containing military assistance for the island of Taiwan, urging Washington to honor its commitment of not supporting "Taiwan independence" and to stop arming the island.

Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, and no outside interference will be tolerated.

The Taiwan-related content in the US congressional bill seriously violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, and sends a wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, Zhu said.

"We are firmly opposed to it. We urge the US side to honor its commitment of not supporting 'Taiwan independence' and to stop arming Taiwan in any way," Zhu stated.

The remarks came after the US Senate on Tuesday passed a package to provide billions in aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law after six months of political battles over it, CNBC reported.

The final vote tally was 79-18, a rousing show of bipartisanship in an era of deep political divisions, according to the US media outlet.

The funding includes roughly $60 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for Taiwan and Indo-Pacific security.

Chinese analysts said that in recent years, the US has been doing more than just providing weapons and equipment to the island.

The US has also been providing military training, intelligence sharing and technology, said Xin Qiang, a deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University.

Given that the US' assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and the Taiwan region has left the super power stretched thin, it is possible that in the next step, the US may assist Taiwan in producing its own weapons, Xin said.

That would definitely escalate tensions in the Taiwan Straits, analysts warned.

Xin predicted that the elected Taiwan regional leader Lai Ching-te is almost certain to continue the policy of the current regional leader Tsai Ing-wen by seeking secessionism with US support and adopting a strategy of using force to resist reunification.

The more intense the military security cooperation between the US and Taiwan island becomes, the more emboldened the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities will be, leading to more provocative pro-secessionist rhetoric and actions, further escalating tensions in cross-Straits relations, Xin warned.

Zhu said that most people in Taiwan want peace rather than war, development rather than decline, exchange rather than separation, and cooperation rather than confrontation. The DPP authorities in the island disregard public opinion, willingly acting as a pawn for external forces to use Taiwan to control the mainland, and are taking Taiwan toward a dangerous situation.

The DPP authorities have been warned that any attempts to "seek independence with arms" and "seek independence by relying on outsiders" are doomed to failure, according to the spokesperson.

She also expressed that she hopes that the majority of Taiwan compatriots fully understand the danger of the DPP authorities hooking up with external forces to seek "Taiwan independence," and called for joint work to promote peaceful development and integrated development of cross-Straits relations for compatriots on both sides.

Commenting on whether the Chinese mainland would launch countermeasures in response to the US bill, Xin said the mainland will definitely increase pressure on the US and the DPP authorities in various areas such as military, politics and the economy.