China urges US to stop interfering in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong

China has called on the United States to stop interfering in its internal affairs after outgoing US President Donald Trump signed into law acts aimed to further enhance support for Taiwan and Tibet.

Trump, who is due to leave office next month after losing the November’s elections, signed the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 and Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, which had been included in a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package on Sunday.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian slammed the acts as an interference in China’s internal affairs, stressing that his country was “resolutely opposed” to both of them.

“The determination of the Chinese government to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering,” he added.

Lijian emphasized that the US should not put the parts of the acts which “target China” into effect in order to avoid harming bilateral ties between Beijing and Washington.

The government in Taipei welcomed the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020, which emphasizes the US’ support for the self-ruled island’s meaningful participation in United Nations bodies and regular arms sales.

“The United States is an important ally of Taiwan’s internationally, and a solid partner for sharing the values of freedom and democracy,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang said.

China maintains sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, and under the “One China” policy, nearly all countries worldwide — including the US — recognize that sovereignty.

Washington, however, has been courting Taiwan in an attempt to irk Beijing. It regularly conducts provocative maneuvers around the self-governed island, particularly by sailing its warships through the sensitive and strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from mainland China.

Lijian on Monday stressed that Washington should stop using Taiwan to meddle in China’s domestic affairs.

The other act signed by Trump concerns Tibet, officially referred to as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which is devoted to Buddhism.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 calls for the establishment of a US consulate in Lhasa as well as sanctions on Chinese officials who interfere in the selection of a successor to the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

China seized control over the Himalayan region in 1950. Its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled into exile in India following a failed 1959 Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule.

US remarks “disregard facts”

Also on Monday, the Chinese spokesman denounced the US embassy’s call for the release of 12 Hong Kong fugitives on trial in Shenzhen.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing said in a statement on Monday that the “so-called crime” of these suspects was to “flee tyranny.”

Lijian told reporters that China is firmly opposed to the US remarks, which “disregard facts.”

The twelve Hong Kongers will go on trial at the Yantian District People’s Court in Shenzhen on Monday afternoon. Ten of them were captured while trying to flee to Taiwan in August. Earlier this month, they were charged with illegal boundary-crossing offenses.

Hong Kong was rocked by turbulent protests last year, when the government of the semi-autonomous territory proposed a bill that would have reformed the city’s extradition law. The bill was later withdrawn, but the protests continued, and took on violent forms.

Following last year’s anti-government protests, Beijing introduced in June 2020 a new national security law that criminalizes sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland. The law also paves the way for Chinese national security institutions to operate in the city for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.

Skeptics say the new law would be a blow to the territory’s autonomy and civil liberties, but Beijing has assured that the law would target a minority of individuals who disregard law and order in Hong Kong.

The United States’ relations with China have grown increasingly tense under the administration of US President Donald Trump. Washington has also clashed with Beijing over trade, the South China Sea, and the coronavirus pandemic.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has openly called for regime change in China.

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