BEIJING, July 16 China said on Tuesday it had
lodged a protest with the United States over President Barack
Obama's signing of legislation expressing U.S. support for
Taiwan's campaign to attend meetings of a U.N. civil aviation
The bill supporting Taiwan's bid for observer status with
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a U.N.
agency that promotes safe air travel, easily passed both
chambers of the U.S. Congress in June.
China claims Taiwan as a wayward province though the two
sides have been governed separately since defeated Nationalist
forces fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese civil
China says it alone has the right to represent Taiwan
internationally, like at the United Nations, though it has made
exceptions for membership of some bodies, such as the World
Trade Organization, as long as the island is identified as
"The joining of international organisations like ICAO by
Taiwan compatriots is a matter for the Chinese people," China's
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
"China opposes any foreign government, group or individual
poking their nose in," she added.
The actions by the United States run contrary to the
"one-China" principle and China has "lodged stern
representations with the U.S. side", Hua said.
"We urge the United States to strictly abide by its promises
to the Chinese side on the Taiwan issue and cautiously and
appropriately handle matters related to Taiwan and stop
interfering in China's internal affairs."
Most countries, including the United States, follow the
"one-China" policy of officially recognising Beijing and
shunning formal ties with Taiwan.
Beijing and Washington have long argued about democratic and
self-ruled Taiwan, most often over U.S. arms sales to the island
which enrage China.
Relations between China and Taiwan, however, have improved
markedly since 2008 with the election on the island of a
China-friendly president, Ma Ying-jeou, and the two sides have
signed landmark trade and economic deals.
Taiwan's bid for observer status at the ICAO is expected to
be decided when the agency holds its assembly in Montreal in
China has not explicitly opposed Taiwan's participation
attempt, in keeping with efforts to ensure current good
relations remain on track.
In 2009, Taiwan gained observer status at the World Health
Assembly, the policy-making body for the U.N. World Health
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard)