China’s Foreign Ministry lambasted the US for modifying the wording on the State Department website about Taiwan on Tuesday, saying that ‘political manipulation’ will not change the existing quo in the Taiwan Strait.
The section on Taiwan on the State Department’s website has been updated to remove language opposing Taiwan independence as well as acknowledging Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is a part of China.
The Chinese government regards the democratically-governed island as Chinese territory.
Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Beijing that there is only one China, that Taiwan belongs to China, and that the People’s Republic of China is the country’s sole lawful government.
He went on to say that the US revising its fact sheet on Taiwan-US relations is ‘a trivial effort of fictionalising and hollowing down the one-China principle.’
‘This type of political manoeuvring on the Taiwan issue is an attempt to disrupt the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and it will inevitably stoke a fire that will only burn the United States,’ Zhao added.
The change in language appears to have occurred on May 5, the date at the top of the information sheet, although it was only widely reported on Tuesday in Chinese and Taiwanese media.
The State Department also added language about the Six Assurances, which refers to six security assurances granted to Taiwan during the Reagan administration that the US declassified in 2020.
Statements that the US has not established a timeframe for ceasing arms sales to Taiwan, nor agreed to prior consultation with Beijing on such sales, nor to modify the Taiwan Relations Act that underlies US policy towards the island are among the promises made in 1982, but before not formally made public.