China slams US defense act ‘full of Cold War mentality’

World Today

President Donald Trump stands and calls out after signing H.R. 5515, the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” in Hangar 2060 at Fort Drum, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

China voiced strong opposition to the U.S. Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 on Tuesday, saying the act was full of Cold War mentality and exaggerated China-U.S. antagonism, according to defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian.

“The act interfered with China’s internal affairs, damaged mutual trust and relations between the two militaries,” Wu said.

Washington’s new defense bill has made specific references to Taiwan and requires the U.S. Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Taiwan’s military readiness and to submit his findings in a report to Congress within a year with specific recommendations for boosting cross-Pacific cooperation.

“China has lodged stern representations to the U.S.,” the spokesman said, stressing that “We will never let anyone, at any time or in any form split Taiwan off from China.”

“We demand that the U.S. abide by the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués to properly handle the Taiwan-related issues,” Wu said.

In a separate statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed China’s strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the act as it included negative China-related content.

The foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang pointed out the Chinese side has repeatedly expressed its position on this issue and has lodged a solemn representation to the U.S..

China urges the U.S. to abandon the Cold War mentality and its zero-sum beliefs to correctly and objectively view Sino-U.S. relations, Lu added.

He also stressed the US should firmly abide by the one-China principle and the commitments made in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques.

Lu also told the U.S. not to implement a negative China-related clause so as to avoid damaging Sino-U.S. relations and cooperation in key areas between the two sides.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it had noted the inclusion of CFIUS in the act and would “comprehensively assess the contents”, paying close attention to the impact on Chinese firms.

“The U.S. side should objectively and fairly treat Chinese investors, and avoid CFIUS becoming an obstacle to investment cooperation between Chinese and U.S. firms,” the ministry said in a statement.

Chinese and U.S. companies seek greater cooperation on investment, it added, urging the two countries’ governments to heed the voices of their companies, and provide a good environment and stable expectations.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council also slammed the new U.S. defense act, reiterating the Chinese mainland’s opposition against any official and military contact between the U.S. and Taiwan.

The Taiwan issue is vital for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, said spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang. “We strongly oppose the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan,” he stressed.

“We urge the U.S. to refrain from implementing the provisions related to Taiwan in the act and to avoid damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” noted Ma.

Ma also warned the current administration of Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), that relying on foreign countries to embolden itself will definitely harm the interests of Taiwan residents.

This story includes reporting from Reuters.