BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Beijing has criticized an annual US defense spending initiative for exaggerating the “threat from China,” while Taiwan on the contrary has embraced it, saying it is fighting for the independent island. Shows Washington’s support, Chinese officials say, should it pass under your control.
“China strongly condemns and resolutely opposes this US initiative,” the foreign ministry said in a statement issued on Saturday.
In Washington, President Joe Biden signed an $858 billion defense initiative into law on Friday.
The measure includes more than $45 billion that Biden requested as lawmakers seek to combat inflation and bolster the country’s military capability against China and Russia.
The bill rejected mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 among US troops.
For the Indo-Pacific region, the measure authorizes increased security cooperation with Taiwan and provides for increased cooperation with India on emerging technologies, defense-related preparedness and logistics.
In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry thanked the US Congress for showing “the great importance Taiwan-US relations attach and strengthening Taiwan’s security”.
China rejects US support for Taiwan, an island of 23 million people off its east coast. China and Taiwan were torn apart during a civil war when the Communists seized power in the Asian giant in 1949.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its statement that the US defense bill “seriously affects peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
In August, China conducted large-scale military exercises around Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.
The Chinese military earlier this week sent 39 aircraft and three ships to Taiwan for a relatively large show of force.