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China says it will respond to U.S. admiral's unannounced visit to Taiwan

China opposes U.S. military dealings with Taiwan.

Updated: November 23, 2020 - 3:11pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A disgruntled Beijing said Monday that it will protest the unannounced visit of a U.S. Navy admiral who arrived in Taiwan over the weekend via charter aircraft. 

“The Chinese side will, according to how the situation develops, make a legitimate and necessary response,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said while addressing reporters.

A Defense Department source confirmed to Just the News that a U.S. Navy officer had visited Taiwan but did not say who nor what the visit entailed.

The officer is Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, who is in charge of U.S. military intelligence in the Indo-Pacific Command’s area of operations, Reuters reported Sunday.

The trip comes amid increasing U.S. support to Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be under its rule. 

Zhao on Monday did not specify how China would respond to the admiral's Taiwan visit, but reiterated Beijing's stance regarding U.S. dealings with Taipei.

"China firmly opposes any form of official exchange and military contact between the U.S. and the Taiwan region," Zhao said. 

The U.S. should "stop elevating its relationship with the Taiwan region in substance so as to avoid serious damage to China-U.S. relations and stability across the Taiwan Strait," Zhao said.

The USS Barry, a destroyer, on Saturday transited the Taiwan Strait, the Navy said.

“A continued presence in the South China Sea is vital in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the ships skipper, Cmdr. Chris Gahl, said in a statement. “The freedom of all nations to navigate in international waters is critically important. Barry's transit of the Taiwan Strait...ensured the right and instills the confidence of all nations to trade and communicate in the South China Sea.”