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US-North Korea ties ‘no model’ for China, Taiwan

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – China says the United States’ relations with North Korea cannot be compared with or regarded as a model for the relations between China and self-ruled Taiwan, calling the Taiwan issue a “purely internal affair.”

In a regular news briefing on Wednesday, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that a Tuesday summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un could be a model for a meeting between Beijing and Taipei.

“The Taiwan issue is purely an internal Chinese affair. Its nature is entirely different to North Korea-US relations,” Ma said. “Taiwan and the mainland both belong to one China and relations across the Taiwan Strait are not state-to-state ties.”

Singapore, which hosted the historic summit between Trump and Kim, was once the site of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s then-president Ma Ying-jeou in 2015.

Ma referred to that summit and said it was held on the political basis of opposing Taiwan’s independence and showed both sides of the Taiwan Strait had the ability and wisdom to resolve their own problems.

He also stressed that any improvement in ties with Taipei depended on Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai was elected as president in 2016.

Relations between Beijing and Taiwan strained after Tsai took office. She is opposed to the “One China” principle, according to which Chinese sovereignty is recognized on Taiwan.

Almost all world countries — including the US — recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. The US, however, has from time to time flirted with the idea of recognizing Taiwan as independent. Despite switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, Washington has remained Taiwan’s strongest ally and only foreign supplier of weapons.

President Trump has in particular been playing up the Taiwan card against China. In March, he signed new rules that would allow senior US officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa.

Tsai angered Beijing when she congratulated Trump’s presidency in a phone conversation with him in January last year.

Just on Tuesday, the US opened a de facto embassy in Taiwan, highlighting Washington’s willingness to use its relations with the self-ruled island against China. A senior US official unveiled a new, 256-million-dollar complex for the so-called American Institute of Taiwan (AIT), an institution that was initially opened after the US switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing decades ago.

The newer building will be staffed way more heavily and will serve as a representative office.

China filed stern objections shortly after the opening of the new office.

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