China on Monday announced imposing sanctions on US officials over enhanced engagements with Taiwan.
“China has decided to impose sanctions on related US officials who have behaved badly on Taiwan question,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference in the capital Beijing, according to the state-run Global Times.
The move comes days after the US eased restrictions on contacts between American and Taiwanese officials.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 termed “null and void” the self-imposed restrictions on US diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese “counterparts.”
Beijing considers Taiwan – officially known as the Republic of China – a breakaway province, but Taipei insists on its independence since 1949, and has diplomatic relations with 16 countries and regions.
The US formally recognized China in 1979 and under “Three Communiques,” shifted diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing, acknowledging the "One China" policy and thus including Taiwan as part of mainland China.
It, however, has increased its engagement with Taiwan recently. Last August, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar became the highest-ranking US politician to hold meetings on the island in decades.
It also approved arms sales to Taiwan worth billions of dollars in 2020.