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U.S. should not have any illusions about Taiwan, says China

BEIJING, Nov 25 (Reuters) – There is no room for compromise over Taiwan and the United States should not have any illusions about this, China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday, adding that Washington had of late made a series of “provocations” on several issues.

China says the issue of Taiwan, which it claims as Chinese territory, is the most sensitive in its ties with the United States, the country that is also Taiwan’s most important international backer and arms supplier.

Sharp differences over Taiwan persisted during a virtual meeting earlier this month between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi said that those in Taiwan who seek independence, and their supporters in the United States, were “playing with fire”.

Asked at a monthly news briefing in Beijing to comment on Sino-U.S. military ties in the light to those talks, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said having a healthy and stable relationship was good for both and what the world expected.

China is willing to maintain exchanges and cooperation with the United States, he added.

“However, for a period of time, the U.S. side has said a lot of irresponsible things and done a lot of provocative things on Taiwan, the South China Sea, and close up reconnaissance by warships and aircraft,” Wu said.

China has principles for the development of relations between the two militaries, which is to say its sovereignty, dignity, and core interests cannot be violated, he added.

“Especially on the Taiwan issue, China has no room for compromise, and the U.S. side should not have any illusions about this.”

Democratically-rule Taiwan has denounced China for its stepped up diplomatic and military pressure to try and force the island into accepting Chinese sovereignty.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to defend the island, and says only its people can decide its future.

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