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China: Ignoring one-China principle could hurt peace

BEIJING (AP) – China said any change in US policy favoring formal recognition of Taiwan will “seriously” damage peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and undermine relations between Beijing and Washington.

The comments from the spokesman for the Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office Wednesday, December 14, follow President-elect Donald Trump’s remarks over the weekend that he didn’t feel “bound by a one-China policy” unless the US could gain benefits from China in trade and other areas.

Under the one-China policy, the US recognizes Beijing as China’s government and maintains only unofficial relations with Taiwan, which broke from the Chinese mainland in 1949.

Spokesman An Fengshan said breaching the one-China principle “will seriously affect peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

US urges Taiwan to increase defense
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased, a senior US defense official said on Tuesday, days after US President-elect Donald Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Abraham Denmark said the Obama administration’s “One China” policy remained unchanged, but he could not predict Trump’s intentions when he takes office on January 20.

Trump set off a diplomatic firestorm over the weekend when he questioned why the United States should be bound by the long-standing policy under which Washington recognizes Beijing rather than Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

This followed an earlier Chinese protest over Trump’s telephone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2, the first involving a US President-elect or president since 1979.

Some US analysts warn that Trump could provoke a military confrontation if he presses the Taiwan issue too far.

Denmark told the Project 2049 Forum in Washington that the main focus of China’s military modernization program was to achieve reunification with Taiwan, by force if necessary.

“This makes it incumbent on Taiwan to prepare and invest in capabilities to deter aggression and mount an effective defense if deterrence fails,” he said.

“Defense resourcing is critical,” he said. “Taiwan’s defense budget has not kept pace with the threat developments and should be increased.”