China reiterates opposition to US-Taiwan exchanges

Beijing, Feb 18 (IANS) China reiterated its strong opposition to official exchanges and military connections between the US and Taiwan, amid recent reports that American Marines would be posted in a non-profit organisation in Taiwan, the media reported.

“China consistently and firmly opposes the US and Taiwan engaging in any form of official contact or military connection,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a daily news conference in Beijing on Friday.

Geng was responding to reports that Stephen Young, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan said US Marines would be posted at the new site of the organisation, the China Daily reported.

In a conference held by a Washington think tank on Wednesday, Young said he had pushed strongly for a US Marines detachment to protect the organization, and the new compound would include a “Marines house”, which would be “a symbolic expression” of the US commitment to Taiwan, according to a report in the Taipei Times.

On February 10, President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump had a telephone conversation, during which Trump said the US government would adhere to the one-China policy.

“China hopes the US will observe the one-China policy and the principles of the three joint communiques between China and the US, and that it will handle the Taiwan-related issue prudently and properly,” Geng said.

Geng said he had noted reports on the possible deployment and needed to gain more information on the situation.

The US posts Marines in its embassies and consulates to guard their security.

Since 1979, when the US established diplomatic ties with China, there have been no US Marines stationed in the American Institute in Taiwan.

–IANS

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