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China Asks Washington to Ban Taiwan's President to Visit US

30 October 2017

China has claimed sovereignty over the island since 1949, when Mao Zedong's Communist forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fled to Taiwan.

Grace Choi, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, was commenting on Beijing's objections about Tsai's layovers in Hawaii and Guam, saying that there has been no change to Washington's one-China policy.

Tsai will visit the Marshall and Solomon Islands along with Tuvalu starting today, while transiting through Hawaii and the US territory of Guam.

The Taiwanese government made a statement on Friday thanking the United States for arranging Tsai's stopovers in Hawaii and Guam "in accordance with comfort, safety, convenience, and dignity principles". Beijing has lodged "solemn complaints" with the USA, he said.

State Department spokeswoman Grace Choi said Tsai's passage through US territory would be "private and unofficial", in keeping with "our unofficial relations with Taiwan", and would not indicate any "change to the USA one-China policy".

The statement followed reports that Tsai will transit through Hawaii and the United States territory of Guam next week - a trip that comes at a delicate time with President Donald Trump slated to visit Beijing in November. He caused consternation in Beijing in January after taking a congratulatory phone call from Tsai following his victory.

"Regarding the transit of Taiwan's leader in the United States, I think her true intention is clear for all to see", Geng said at a daily news briefing.

The trip to the USA is Ms Tsai's second this year.

In Houston, she met Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Washington should "not allow her to stop over, avoid sending any erroneous messages to the Taiwan independence force, and maintain the general picture of China-U.S. relationship and peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait with concrete efforts", Geng said. The three are among just 20 countries that extend Taiwan formal diplomatic recognition.