China urged the United States to halt official interactions with Taiwan in any form, in response to the visit to Taiwan by the governor of the U.S. state of Arizona, the latest in a succession of U.S. officials who have visited the island.
"China firmly opposes official U.S. exchanges with the Taiwan region in any form and under any name," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular news briefing on Wednesday.
According to media reports, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday and was to meet with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and representatives of the island's semiconductor companies during a three-day tour.
"There is but one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory," Zhao emphasized at the news briefing.
He urged the U.S. to abide by the one-China principle and stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and to stop sending wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.
"China will take forceful and strong measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhao said.
Ducey was the second U.S. governor to visit Taiwan in August. U.S. officials' consecutive visits to Taiwan－including those of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb and U.S. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee－all met with strong opposition from China.
In response to the accusation by a U.S. State Department spokesman that Beijing overreacted on the Taiwan question, Zhao urged the U.S. not to shirk responsibilities, deflect blame or attempt to create a bigger crisis.
Zhao noted that U.S. warships have frequently flexed muscles under the guise of "freedom of navigation" in the waters off China's coast, yet Washington criticized Beijing for engaging in provocations.
China will not accept such moves of confounding right and wrong, nor will the international community endorse them, he said.
"What the U.S. should do is to stop obscuring, hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle and adhere to the basic norms of international relations," he added.
In another development, Taiwan's China Airlines said on Tuesday that it would buy 16 Boeing 787 wide-body planes. It has been reported that U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, had asked the Taiwan authorities during his visit to the island in April to buy Boeing 787s.
Noting that certain U.S. politicians rake in profits from trips to Taiwan, Zhao said that the island's Democratic Progressive Party authorities "have been squandering the hard-earned money of the people in Taiwan and have been reduced to an ATM for U.S. politicians to seek selfish gains".