BEIJING, November 22 – RIA Novosti. China attaches great importance to the development of relations between the two countries and their armed forces, but the United States must respect the most important interests of China, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said Tuesday at a meeting with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting with Dialogue Partners in Cambodia .
“The responsibility for the current situation in Sino-American relations lies with the United States, not China,” Wei Fenghe said, quoted by the Chinese defense department.
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At the same time, he noted that “China attaches great importance to the development of relations between the two countries and the armed forces of the two states, but the United States must respect the most important interests of China.”
“The Taiwan issue is the most important of China’s fundamental interests and the first red line in Sino-US relations that cannot be crossed,” said Wei Fenghe, quoted by the Chinese defense department.
He stressed that “Taiwan is Chinese Taiwan and the Taiwan issue is the business of the Chinese people, no outside power has the right to interfere.”
Wei Fenghe added that “the Chinese army has the fortitude, confidence and ability to resolutely defend the reunification of the motherland.”
The situation around Taiwan escalated significantly after the visit to the island in early August of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. China, which considers the island one of its provinces, condemned Pelosi’s visit, seeing in this move US support for Taiwanese separatism, and held large-scale military exercises.
Official relations between the central government of the PRC and its island province were interrupted in 1949 after the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek, defeated in a civil war with the Communist Party of China, moved to Taiwan. Business and informal contacts between the island and mainland China resumed in the late 1980s. Since the early 1990s, the parties began to contact through non-governmental organizations – the Beijing Association for the Development of Relations across the Taiwan Strait and the Taipei Foundation for Cross-Strait Exchanges.
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Translation by RJ983
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