China was left fuming after US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo referred to Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen as “president." The mainland vowed to “take necessary countermeasures” in response.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Pompeo for congratulating Tsai on her second term as president, saying that he “seriously violated” the one-China principle and agreements that underpinned the establishment of relations between the two sides.
So far, the United States was displaying caution in its interactions with Taipei to avoid recognizing its government but Pompeo's statements on Tuesday reflected a new stance. In his statement, the US Secretary of State referred to Tsai as president and called Taiwan a “force for good in the world and a reliable partner.”
Congratulations to Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the commencement of your second-term as Taiwan’s President. Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world. With President Tsai at the helm, our partnership with Taiwan will continue to flourish.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 19, 2020
“China urges the US side to immediately correct its mistakes,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website Wednesday. “The Chinese side will take necessary countermeasures to respond to the above-mentioned erroneous actions by the US side. And the US side should bear the consequences arising therefrom.”
Tsai earlier urged China to “find a way to co-exist” with Taiwan’s democratic government as she was sworn in to her second term in Taipei. “Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” she said.
China retaliated saying that it would not tolerate Taiwan’s independence.