WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 18, 2017 (UPI) — China issued a warning after Taiwan announced a group of lawmakers are planning to attend the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Beijing’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday that China “urges the relevant party in the United States to not accept any Taiwanese delegation, and to not make any official contacts with Taiwan.”
“We make this appeal one more time,” Hua said. “China has already delivered this position statement to the Trump team and the U.S. administration.”
Earlier in the week, Taiwan’s foreign ministry announced it would send a delegation headed by Yu Shyi-kun, a former premier under President Chen Shui-bian, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Yu, a member of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, will be accompanied by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, DPP member Chen Ting-fei, Kuomintang lawmaker Ko Chih-en and Freddy Lim, the founding leader of the New Power Party of Taiwan.
Taipei has previously sent delegations to attend U.S. presidential inaugurations, but Beijing has been increasingly vocal in its criticism of Taipei since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Trump exchanged an unprecedented phone call not long after his election victory.
On Tuesday, a retired Chinese military general claimed Beijing’s army could take control of Taiwan in 100 hours.
An analyst in Taiwan has dismissed the statement, and said Lt. Gen. Wang Hongguang is “overestimating the capabilities of his military.”