BEIJING (HPD) — Beijing lashed out at an annual U.S. defense spending initiative for exaggerating the “China threat” while Taiwan in contrast embraced it, saying it shows Washington’s support for the independent island China officials say , it must pass into your control.
“China deplores and strongly opposes this US initiative,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Saturday, saying the move constitutes a serious political provocation that openly meddles in the country’s internal affairs.
In Washington, President Joe Biden signed the $858 billion defense initiative into law Friday.
The measure includes $45 billion more than what Biden requested as lawmakers try to counter inflation and bolster the country’s military capability against China and Russia.
The bill rejected mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 among US troops.
For the Indo-Pacific region, the measure authorizes increased security cooperation with Taiwan and provides for increased collaboration with India on emerging technologies, defense-related readiness and logistics.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked the US Congress in a statement “for showing the great importance it attaches to Taiwan-US relations and strengthening Taiwan’s security.”
China rejects US support for Taiwan, an island of 23 million people off its eastern coast. China and Taiwan separated during the civil war when the communists seized power in 1949 in the Asian giant.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its statement that the US defense bill “seriously affects peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
China staged large-scale military drills around Taiwan in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.
The Chinese military sent 39 planes and three ships to Taiwan earlier this week in a relatively large show of force.