China upset about 'negative' Taiwan content in United States defense bill

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 18, 2017

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed Friday, states: "It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should conduct a program of senior military exchanges between the United States and Taiwan that have the objective of improving military-to-military relations and defense cooperation between the United States and Taiwan".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told Reuters of the bill on Monday: "China has already lodged stern representations with the United States about this".

China's negative reaction to the $696 billion defense policy bill comes just a month after it criticized the US for selling self-ruled Taiwan $1.42 billion in arms, in what China called a "wrong decision", Reuters reported.

Beijing has long objected to any military assistance from Washington to the self-governed island, which it considers a breakaway province.

China upset about 'negative' Taiwan content in United States defense bill

An amendment to the bill directs the Pentagon to submit a report to Congress on the feasibility of reestablishing port calls between the U.S. and Taiwanese navies.

"We urge the United States to fully recognize the serious harmfulness of the relevant clauses in the act, and not allow them into law, and not turn back the wheel of history to avoid damaging the broad picture of Sino-US cooperation", the Chinese official noted.

Beijing urged the revoke its decision to sell Taiwan $1.42 billion worth of arms. But once in office the president unequivocally endorsed the "One China" policy during a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Concerns that Taiwan would become a bargaining chip were raised soon after Trump's election, when he suggested he may abandon the "One China" policy that underpins US-China relations, unless he could strike better deals with Beijing.

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