BEIJING/TAIPEI : China has pledged to take “resolute and forceful measures” to protect its sovereignty after Taiwanese Vice President William Lai arrived in the United States on a brief visit.

The statement on Sunday came hours after Lai arrived in New York for what was officially billed as a transit stop en route to Paraguay.

Lai, the frontrunner to be Taiwan’s next president at elections in January, is on his way to Paraguay to attend President-elect Santiago Pena’s inauguration and is scheduled to make a second stop in the US city of San Francisco on his way back to Taipei.

China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has repeatedly denounced Lai’s trip.

In a statement issued shortly after Lai landed in New York on a scheduled flight from Taipei, China’s foreign ministry said it opposed any form of visit by “Taiwan independence separatists” to the US.

“Lai stubbornly adheres to the separatist position of Taiwan independence and is a troublemaker through and through,” it said.

Taiwan is the “core of China’s core interests” and facts have shown again and again that the reason for the rise in tensions in the Taiwan Strait is Taiwan trying to “rely on the United States to seek independence”, it said.

“China is closely following developments and will take resolute and vigorous measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it added.

Lai has been far more outspoken about independence than Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, to whom Beijing is already hostile as she refuses to accept its view that Taiwan is a part of China.

The Harvard-educated doctor-turned-politician has previously described himself as a “pragmatic Taiwan independence worker”, and reiterated this week when speaking with a local television channel that Taiwan was “not part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)”…Source – Read More!

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