US defense bill interferes with China's internal affairs: Defence ministry

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Aug 14, 2018, 05:46 PM(IST)

Flags of the US and China (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US President Trump had signed the $716 billion National Defence Authorisation Act 2019 into a law on Monday

China's defence ministry said today that US National Defense Authorization Act "interferes with China's internal affairs, spoils the atmosphere for development of the two countries and two armies."

Also Read: Trump signs defence bill with watered-down China measures

US President Trump had signed the $716 billion National Defence Authorisation Act 2019 into a law on Monday which involved any entity doing business with Russia could face economic sanctions.

Although the bill did not target China's telecom equipment company ZTE which the US accuses of illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea, it proposed review of foreign investments in the US and assess whether it affected US national security, a move which was seen to keep China at bay.

Wu Qian, spokesman with the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said the bill "hypes up China-US antagonism"  and "is detrimental to the mutual trust and cooperation between China and the United States."

"The Chinese army is resolutely against it and has lodged stern representations with the US side," it said.

In fact, several US lawmakers felt the bill offered a "watered down" approach and was weaker than earlier versions of the bill.

However, China's defence ministry said: "The bill permeates Cold War mentality and violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques."

On the One-China policy, the Chinese defence ministry emphatically warned that China will never allow "any person to split Taiwan from China at any time and in any form."

"We urge the United States to abide by its commitment to China on the Taiwan issue, adhere to the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, deal with issues related to Taiwan prudently, so as not to mar the relations between the two countries and the two armies," the defence ministry said.

China also urged the US to maintain "peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits" in an oblique reference to US Navy's war games and its armament assistance to Taiwan.

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