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China to US: Reverse Practice on Taiwan03/07 09:08

   

   BEIJING (AP) -- China's foreign minister warned the Biden administration on 
Sunday to roll back former President Donald Trump's "dangerous practice" of 
showing support for Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by Beijing as its own 
territory.

   The claim to Taiwan, which split with the mainland in 1949, is an 
"insurmountable red line," Wang Yi said at a news conference during the annual 
meeting of China's ceremonial legislature.

   The United States has no official relations with Taiwan but extensive 
informal ties. Trump irked Beijing by sending Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan 
in a show of support.

   "The Chinese government has no room for compromise," Wang said.

   "We urge the new U.S. administration to fully understand the high 
sensitivity of the Taiwan issue" and "completely change the previous 
administration's dangerous practices of 'crossing the line' and 'playing with 
fire,'" he said.

   President Joe Biden says he wants a more civil relationship with Beijing but 
has shown no sign of softening Trump's confrontational measures on trade, 
technology and human rights. Surveys show American public attitudes turning 
more negative toward China, which is seen as an economic and strategic 
competitor.

   Wang gave no indication how Beijing might react if Biden doesn't change 
course, but the ruling Communist Party has threatened to invade if Taiwan 
declares formal independence or delays talks on uniting with the mainland.

   Wang's comments in a wide-ranging, two-hour news conference reflected 
Beijing's increasing assertiveness abroad and rejection of criticism over Hong 
Kong, the northwestern region of Xinjiang and other sensitive topics.

   Wang defended proposed changes in Hong Kong that will tighten Beijing's 
control by reducing the role of its public in government. He dismissed 
complaints that erodes the autonomy promised to the former British colony when 
it returned to China in 1997.

   The changes announced Friday follow the arrest of 47 pro-democracy figures 
in Hong Kong under a national security law imposed last year following months 
of anti-government protests.

   Beijing needs to protect Hong Kong's "transition from chaos to governance," 
Wang said.

   The proposal would give a pro-Beijing committee a bigger role in picking 
Hong Kong legislators. That would be a marked reduction of democracy and 
Western-style civil liberties in Hong Kong. Mainland officials say they want to 
make sure the territory is controlled by people deemed patriots.

   "No one cares more about the development of democracy in Hong Kong than the 
central government," Wang said. He said the changes will protect the "rights of 
Hong Kong residents and the legitimate interests of foreign investors."

   Also Sunday, Wang rejected complaints Beijing's treatment of predominantly 
Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang amounts to genocide.

   Human rights researchers say more than 1 million people, many of them 
members of the Uyghur minority, have been sent to detention camps. Chinese 
officials say they are trying to prevent extremism.

   "The so-called existence of genocide in Xinjiang is absurd. It is a complete 
lie fabricated with ulterior motives," Wang said. He blamed "anti-China forces" 
that he said want to "undermine the security and stability of Xinjiang and 
hinder China's development and growth."

 
 
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