In this file photo, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivers a speech at National Taiwan University College of Public Health in Taipei, Taiwan. AP File Photo
China on Monday warned the United States of potential “serious damage” to their relations over US-Taiwan economic talks, reports AP.
China warned US to withdraw from an upcoming economic meeting with Taiwan that is expected to be attended by a senior American official to avoid serious damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin urged the US at a daily briefing to "stop all forms of official exchanges with Taiwan.
Taiwanese media reported that US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach is planning to visit the island later this week for an economic and commercial dialogue with Taiwan's government.
The visit would follow one by US Health Secretary Alex Azar last month.
Azar was the highest-level US Cabinet official to visit since a break in formal ties between the US and Taiwanese government in 1979, when the US accepted a “one-China policy” with Beijing as its government.
A visit by Krach is likely to inspire further anger from China.
China considers self-ruled Taiwan part of its own territory, and strongly opposes any official contacts between other nations and the island.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed last week that it was in negotiations with the US on such talks, but did not comment on a specific date or who might attend from Washington.
Tensions are high between the US and China over issues including trade, cybersecurity, technology and Hong Kong's new national security law.
Relations have deteriorated further since the coronavirus outbreak. Trump blames China for the pandemic, and he and his administration have repeatedly accused the country of hiding crucial information about the virus from the global community.