The first of 12 planned Tuo Chiang corvettes for the Republic of China Navy. (Photo : ROCN)
China is angered at a bill passed by the United States Congress that would renew military ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan), and is telling the United States to abide by the four decades-old One China Policy that recognizes China as the one true Chinese state.
On Dec. 10, China again reaffirmed its unyielding opposition to official and military relations between the United States and Taiwan in any form, as well U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
"China's stance is consistent and clear, and well known to the international community," said the Ministry of Foreign Ministry Affairs of China through its spokesperson, Lu Kang.
The ministry also commented on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2017 passed by the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
The NDAA was approved by the Senate on Dec. 8 in a 92-7 vote after the bill had cleared the House of Representatives last week. It now goes to President Barack Obama (who opposes the bill) for signing.
Political analysts in Washington believe Obama has no choice but to sign the NDAA into law since the bill enjoys the overwhelming support of the Congress.
Whether the unpredictable President-elect Donald Trump will vigorously enforce the law is a huge unknown but remains quite likely given his ongoing rhetoric slamming China for taking away American jobs and stirring up trouble in the South China Sea.
NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.
The NDAA for 2017 includes content promoting exchanges between military officers of the United States and Taiwan. Taiwan was elated at the bill passing both Houses of Congress, and this mood was reflected by Taiwanese media.
The conference report accompanying the bill calls on the Pentagon to implement a program for exchanges between senior officials and officers from Taiwan and the United States to improve military relations between them.
The report defines exchanges as activities, exercises, events or observation opportunities between Taiwan and U.S. military officials.
Exchanges should be focused on seven areas: threat analysis; military doctrine; troops planning; logistical support; intelligence gathering and analysis; operational strategies, techniques and procedures; and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
The report defines "senior officers" as active military personnel and "senior Pentagon officials" as those on the level of assistant defense secretary and higher.
China's foreign ministry said the Taiwan issue concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is the most important and sensitive issue to China-U.S. relations.
It urged the United States to abide by the One China policy, the commitment it made and the principles of the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiques.
"The U.S. side should cautiously handle the issue and not to turn back the wheels of history, so as to avoid disturbance to the China-U.S. relations," said the ministry.