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China protests US Congress resolution on Taiwan

China said on Thursday it had lodged a formal protest with the United States after US lawmakers passed a resolution defending Taiwan.

world Updated: Mar 26, 2009 12:46 IST

China said on Thursday it had lodged a formal protest with the United States after US lawmakers passed a resolution defending Taiwan.

A day after urging Washington to acknowledge the island as part of Chinese territory, the foreign ministry said the congressional resolution "ignored the resolute opposition of the Chinese side."

"The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and has made solemn representations with the US side," spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement that was posted overnight on the foreign ministry's website.

The US Congress passed a resolution on Tuesday vowing "unwavering commitment" to Taiwan's security and calling the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act a "cornerstone" of US policy.

The law requires the United States to uphold Taiwan's capability to defend itself and to provide the island "arms of a defensive character."

Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act when then president Jimmy Carter shifted US recognition to Beijing from Taipei, where China's nationalists had fled 30 years earlier after losing a civil war to the communists.

China considers Taiwan a rebel province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

"The Chinese government and people from the very beginning have opposed the so-called Taiwan Relations Act since it was unilaterally passed," Qin said.

"We urge the United States to... stop the wrongful act of using the Taiwan issue to interfere in China's internal affairs."

Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for China's cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday that the United States should accept Taiwan as part of China in line with diplomatic documents signed between the two nations.

Taiwan has been a frequent source of tensions between China and the United States since relations between the two were established.

However, ties between Taiwan itself and China have eased since last year, when the Beijing-friendly May Ying-jeou was elected president vowing to focus on trade rather than confrontation with Beijing.