China says it will permit “no foreign interference” in Taiwan.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the comment Friday in answer to a reporter’s question during the ministry’s usual press briefing in Beijing.
China considers Taiwan a Chinese province.
A day earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States would defend Taiwan if it were attacked.
Wang said there should be no expectation for China to compromise on issues related to its “sovereignty,” territory and other interests.
China’s government has been increasing its military activities around the island, which it considers a rebel territory. China has said it plans to one day reclaim the territory and would use force if necessary.
On Thursday, Biden said the U.S. did not want a new Cold War. But he expressed concern that China might take part “in activities that will put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake."
“I just want to make China understands that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views,” Biden said. When asked whether the U.S. would come to Taiwan's defense if it were attacked, he answered: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”
In his comments Friday, Wang said the U.S. should “be cautious with its words and actions on the Taiwan issue.” He added that “any wrong signals” sent to supporters of Taiwan independence could “seriously damage China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was asked by a reporter on Friday whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan if the island were attacked by China. He said he did not want to discuss imaginary situations. He added, however, “Nobody wants to see cross-Strait issues come to blows -– certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should.”
Austin added that Washington remains firm about its “one state, two systems” policy on China.
In Taipei, a spokesperson for President Tsai Ing-wen said the U.S. has shown its support for Taiwan through clear actions.
The official added that Taiwan would show its commitment to defend itself by continuing to work with countries with similar values “to make a positive contribution toward the Taiwan Strait” and support peace and stability across the Asia-Pacific area.
One way the U.S. has demonstrated its support for Taiwan is through military sales. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this month that American support for Taiwan is “rock solid." The U.S. has “also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan,” Price said.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
The Associated Press and Reuters reported on this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
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Words in This Story
sovereignty – n. the power of a country to control its own government
concession – n. something that you agree to do or give to someone in order to end a dispute or argument
cautious – adj. taking care to avoid risks or danger
stability – n. the quality of not being likely to change or move
positive – adj. feeling happy about the future
come to blows – expression to begin fighting
contribution – n. something you do to help produce or develop something
certainly – adj. without fail