TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Wednesday (Sept. 29) objected to a French Senate delegation's planned visit to Taiwan in October.
The delegation will be led by Alain Richard, the chairman of the French Senate’s Taiwan Friendship Group, and include vice chairs André Vallini and Max Brinsson as well as the group's secretary Olivier Cadic. The visit is currently scheduled to last from Oct. 4-11.
TAO Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) stated that China “resolutely opposes” any official exchanges between countries and “China’s Taiwan Area." "This position has always been clear," the Liberty Times quoted her as saying.
Zhu said that Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party-led (DPP) government will not succeed in colluding with external forces to seek independence, adding that it cannot change the fact that there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of it.
Additionally, Zhu stressed that China opposes bills proposed in the U.S. Congress that contain Taiwan-related provisions. She reiterated that Taiwan is a part of China and said the U.S. government has no right to interfere in China's internal affairs.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 23 passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which recommends the U.S. Department of Defense invite Taiwan to participate in the 2022 RIMPAC maritime warfare exercise.
The TAO spokesperson said that the DPP authorities must not misjudge the situation. “Any attempt to rely on external forces to seek independence will ultimately fail,” she warned. Zhu stressed China’s determination to “contain” Taiwan independence and restrict Taiwan-U.S. ties.
In response, DPP Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) pointed out that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. Exchanges, interactions, and economic and trade cooperation among the world's democratic community are all very normal, he said.
Lai added that China should not block Taiwan's diplomatic and international space every chance it gets. “This will only make Taiwanese even more resentful of Beijing,” he said.