21:06 GMT +320 September 2018
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    Two US-made F-16 fighters take off from the Chiayi air force base in southern Taiwan during a demonstration on January 26, 2016

    China Cautions Taiwan Against Relying on Foreign Powers for Security

    © AFP 2018 / SAM YEH
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    Tensions between Beijing and Taipei continue to escalate following a controversial US-Taiwan deal that seeks to enhance cooperation in the security sphere.

    Speaking at a press-conference, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office An Fengshan expressed official opposition to any military deals between Taiwan and the US, highlighting that Taiwan is an internal matter.

    "What I want to stress and point out is that any relying on foreigners to build oneself up or plots to harm national sovereignty and territorial integrity will be opposed by the entire Chinese nation, and cannot succeed," An said.

    China's warning comes following the escalation of tensions between Beijing and Taipei that were sparked by the US Congress's decision to adopt the National Defense Authorization Act in September.

    The Act authorizes de facto military cooperation between that will enable mutual visits between US and Taiwanese Navies.

    The move was highly criticized in mainland China, which considers Taiwan to be a rogue province and has consistently called it as "the most sensitive issue" in its relationships with the United States.

    The passing of the Act even prompted Li Kexin, a senior Chinese diplomat in Washington to issue a stern warning, stating that if US Navy ships enter Taiwan then China will activate its Anti-Secession Law, which authorizes the use of force to bring the wayward republic under control.

    "The day that a US Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung [Taiwan's main port] is the day that our People's Liberation Army unifies Taiwan with military force," Li said at an embassy event last Friday.

    Formally, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, remain a single country, as each considers the other as "renegade provinces."

    READ MORE: Trump Holds First Call With Xi Jinping, Agrees to Stick to One China Policy

    The Trump Administration had earlier agreed to honor the so-called "One China" policy.

    However, there is a growing movement within Taiwan that seeks to assert its formal independence.

    Beijing suspects that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who leads the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, may call for a full-fledged referendum next year.

    The potential deployment of the US Navy ships in Taiwan may, therefore, be seen as Tsai's attempts to provide physical security for the referendum that will sever Taipei from China.

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    Tags:
    One China policy, security, warning, navy, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), US Navy, US Congress, Donald Trump, Tsai Ing-wen, An Fengshan, Li Kexin, United States, Taiwan, China
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