China has slammed the visit by a group of U.S. former defense and security officials to Taiwan, saying on Tuesday that it was futile for Washington to send anyone to demonstrate its so-called support for the island.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remark at a regular news briefing after the delegation arrived in Taipei on Tuesday for a two-day visit. Reports said the group, led by one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, will meet on Wednesday with Tsai Ing-wen, leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party.
The Chinese people's resolve and will to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity are steadfast, Wang said, urging the U.S. to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communiques and stop any form of official contact with the island.
The U.S. should handle Taiwan-related issues with prudence to avoid further severe damage to the overall situation of Sino-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Straits, he added.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Tuesday that the DPP's colluding with external forces could not win security of the island and guarantee the well-being of Taiwan residents, which would only further make the island a pawn used by external forces to oppose and contain China.
Any so-called attempt to "embolden Taiwan" cannot change the fact that Taiwan is a part of China, and it cannot stop the reunification and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Zhu added.
In another development, Wang, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, denounced the hyping of the passing of the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson through the Taiwan Straits on Saturday, the second such passage of the year.
Wang said that if Washington attempts to exploit the passage of its warships to embolden the "Taiwan independence" forces, it would have to pay a heavy price for its adventurous acts.
Such a move would only accelerate the fall of "Taiwan independence" forces, he added.
He issued a solemn warning to those in the U.S. who intended to intimidate China by this move, saying that any military deterrent is like "scrap metal" in front of the "Great Wall of steel" made up of 1.4 billion Chinese people.
The trick of sending military vessels through the Taiwan Straits is an act better saved to entertain those obsessed with hegemony, Wang added.