China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned the United States on Monday against violating Beijing's "one-China principle." Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 11 (UPI) -- China accused the United States of violating the "one-China principle" after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday past guidelines on U.S.-Taiwan relations are "null and void."
Beijing's foreign ministry said Monday Pompeo was "manipulating Taiwan-related issues" and the United States should cease "going further down the wrong and dangerous path."
"Otherwise they will be harshly punished by history," said spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular press briefing.
On Saturday, Pompeo said the State Department was canceling policies that require written permission for senior-ranking U.S. military officials and diplomats to visit Taiwan. The United States' U.N. envoy is expected to visit Taipei.
"The United States government took these [past] actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more," Pompeo said.
Zhao said the United States had made a "solemn commitment to the Chinese side" on Taiwan in 1978.
The China-U.S. joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations "clearly stipulates that, 'The United States of America recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China,'" Zhao said.
"The United States should honor its commitment and not misinterpret or deviate from it under any pretext."
The Trump administration has disregarded Beijing's opposition to closer U.S.-Taiwan ties. Pompeo described Taiwan as a democracy that respects "individual freedom, the rule of law, and a respect for human dignity. Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is to visit Taiwan, making her the first U.S. envoy to the U.N. to visit the island nation after 1971, according to Bloomberg.
Taiwan has welcomed the move. On Twitter, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu thanked Pompeo for "lifting restrictions unnecessarily limiting our engagements."
Chinese state tabloid Global Times said the statement from Pompeo was moving the two of the world's biggest economies into deeper conflict.
Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in China, told the paper it is likely the United States will increasingly disregard the three joint communiqués signed by the two countries.