China authorities threatened to exercise counter-measures against the US after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Taiwan's president for inaugurating for the second time. By doing so, China claims that Pompeo did major damage to the two superpowers' political relationship.
China's foreign ministry said Pompeo's act had severely damaged peace and stability in the strait between Taiwan and China. It warned it would take "necessary countermeasures" and the US would have to bear the consequences, but did not elaborate.
"On Pompeo's congratulation to Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration, we express strong indignation and condemnation. China will take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the US side," said Lijian Zhao, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China's Ministry of Defense additionally delivered a statement that Pompeo's comments seriously violated the one-China policy and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.
On Pompeo’s congratulation to Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration, we express strong indignation and condemnation. China will take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the US side. pic.twitter.com/I09FVPJM80
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) May 20, 2020
The warning from China came after Pompeo officially congratulated Taiwan president Tsai for her inauguration for the second time. Pompeo was the highest-ranking US official to issue a statement on Tsai's reelection and the only Secretary of State in history to congratulate a Taiwanese president for their election. Pompeo added that the US would like to continue to have a great partner relationship with Taiwan.
"I would like to congratulate Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the commencement of her second term as Taiwan's President. Her reelection by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan. Her courage and vision in leading Taiwan's vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world."
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
Under its "One China" policy, the Chinese government has insisted that Taiwan is a part of China and not its own nation, a stance that Tsai has refused to accept.
Tsai said in her inauguration address that celebrated the self-governing island's successful fight against coronavirus that Taiwan would not accept attempts by China to "downgrade" its status and pledged to stand up to pressure from Beijing.
The issue worsens the relationship between US and China as the rising tension that started with a dispute over trade, technology and allegations of Beijing's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that began last year.
Both sides are accusing the other of being responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. US authorities have constantly accused China of concealing the outbreak of COVID 19 Wuhan, which caused severe damages that could have been avoided.
Also, there was an accusation of China's attempt to delay the virus's information by pressuring the WHO to declare the virus a pandemic. On the other hand, Chinese authorities have spread the conspiracy theory that the outbreak began because of the US.