China has warned the United States against recognising a change of the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to the Taiwan Representative Office, urging America to abide by the one-China principle.
This comes amid reports that America is "seriously considering" allowing the Taiwanese government to change the name of its representative office in Washington to include the word "Taiwan," in a move that would anger Beijing, the Financial Times reported Saturday.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Beijing has lodged solemn representation with the US side with regard to the report.
"The US should abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, honour its commitments with concrete actions, stop all forms of official exchanges or elevating substantive relations with Taiwan, including not renaming the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US the 'Taiwan Representative Office', and stop sending wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
"The US side should handle the Taiwan question in a prudent manner, lest it should seriously undermine China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," he said.
The newspaper, citing multiple people briefed on internal U.S. discussions, said Taiwan requested last March that the name of its mission in the U.S. capital be changed from "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" to "Taiwan Representative Office."
The United States switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
But under the Taiwan Relations Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1979, Washington maintains substantive though unofficial relations with Taiwan and supplies the island with billions of dollars worth of arms and parts for its defence, Kyodo News reported.
Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has continued his predecessor Donald Trump's policies of pursuing closer relations with Taiwan while taking a tougher stance on China over human rights, trade and other issues.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that "Taiwan's independence" means war. (ANI)