Rare meeting between Taiwanese, US security officials angers Beijing



China responded angrily on Monday as Taiwan confirmed the first meeting in more than four decades between senior US and Taiwanese security officials.

Taiwan’s national security chief David Lee met White House national security adviser John Bolton earlier this month, the island’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The official Central News Agency said the meeting was the first since the island and the United States ended formal diplomatic ties in 1979.

China considers Taiwan a wayward province, to be reclaimed by force if necessary, and the meeting angered Beijing which is already locked in a bitter trade war with Washington.

“China is extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing, adding Beijing was against any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan.

Diplomatic ties between Beijing and Washington have become increasingly strained in recent weeks due to an escalating trade war, US support for Taiwan and mainland China’s muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.