World War 3 fears ERUPT as China ‘strongly condemns’ US in furious ’counterstrike’ threat

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Zhao Lijian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters the removal of US/Taiwan official diplomatic restrictions is a violation of Washington’s relations with Beijing. Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, announced the lift on restrictions on Saturday, and said the original policy was brought in to “appease” the Chinese Government.

Mr Zhao stated in a press conference China “rejects and condemns” the measures and warned they could “counterstrike’ the US.

He said: “The Chinese people’s resolve to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity is unshakable and we will not permit any person or force to stop the process of China’s reunification.

“Any actions which harm China’s core interests will be met with a firm counter-attack and will not succeed.”

Mr Zhao also called on the US to abide the one-China principle, where Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province to be reclaimed by the mainland.

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The Xinhua news agency, also Chinese state-run, published comment on Mr Pompeo’s announcement and claimed the official is seeking to harm bi-lateral ties.

It said: “Pompeo’s latest move to lift restrictions on official contacts with China’s Taiwan region has once again proved that he, despite being America’s top diplomat, is only interested in stoke unwarranted confrontations, and has no interest in world peace.

“During his tenure as Secretary of State, a crucial position he has convincingly proved himself unqualified for, Pompeo has relentlessly demonised China and sought to sabotage the world’s most important bilateral relationship as hard as he can.”

The China Global Television Network, in a separate commentary, described Washington’s move as “a cowardly act of sabotage of the incoming administration”.

The US Secretary of State said the “self-imposed retractions” were now “null and void”, after being introduced in the 1970’s, on Saturday.

Joseph Wu, Taiwan Foreign Minister, called the lifted restrictions a “big thing” for Washington/Taipei relations.

He said to reporters: “Taiwan-U.S. relations have been elevated to a global partnership.

“The foreign ministry will not let our guard down and hopes to continue to boost the development of Taiwan-U.S. ties.”

Donald Trump’s administration has brought in a series of overhauls to US/Taiwan relations, steadily angering Beijing.

On his inauguration in 2016, he accepted a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen which angered the Chinese Government.

In 2020, relations between China and the US froze drastically over trade disputes, the coronavirus pandemic and human rights.

Relations were also damaged after the US sold $5.861 billion worth of weapons systems to Taiwan last year, along with increased American presence in the South China Sea.

It comes after Kelly Craft, US ambassador to United Nations (UN), cancelled her scheduled trip to Taiwan.

All US officials had their scheduled foreign appearances cancelled to carry out transition work for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The planned trip was rubbished by Chinese officials, who said the US will pay a “heavy price for its wrongdoings.”

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