China’s foreign ministry Wednesday said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has done serious damage to U.S.-Chinese relations a day after he congratulated the Taiwanese president on her second term.
The ministry said Pompeo’s statement “seriously violated” the one-China principle, according to Bloomberg.
“China urges the US side to immediately correct its mistakes,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website Wednesday. “The Chinese side will take necessary countermeasures to respond to the above-mentioned erroneous actions by the US side. And the US side should bear the consequences arising therefrom.”
Pompeo is the highest ranking U.S. official to congratulate President Tsai Ing-Wen on her inauguration and the first U.S. secretary of state to applaud a Taiwanese president on their election, the country said, according to the South China Morning Post.
China also took exception to Pompeo referring to Tsai as “president.”
“Her re-election by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan,” Pompeo said in his statement, which was read during her inauguration ceremony, according to Bloomberg. “Her courage and vision in leading Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world. As we look toward the future, I am confident that, with President Tsai at the helm, our partnership with Taiwan will continue to flourish.”
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Pompeo’s statement comes as tensions are rising between Washington and Beijing over trade, technology and allegations of Beijing’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that began last year.
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Tsai called for stabilizing relations with China in her inaugural address Wednesday, but said she would not let China “downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.”
China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing has cut off ties with Tsai’s government over her refusal to accept its demand that she recognize the island as a part of China to be unified with eventually under the “one country, two systems” policy enacted in Hong Kong.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.