China said it firmly opposes any participation by Taiwan in the United Nations as it responded to a tweet by the U.S. mission to the international body for the island to become involved.
The U.S. isn’t in any position to speak for Taiwan, is interfering in China’s internal affairs and “hurts the feelings of the 1.4 billion Chinese people,” China’s mission to the U.N. said in a statement on its website on Friday. It also criticized the timing of the U.S. comments as the world tries to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. mission said barring Taiwan from the U.N. was an affront to the international body’s founding principles promoting human freedom and providing a forum welcoming diverse views.
U.S. President Donald Trump is escalating efforts to blame China for the Covid-19 pandemic and is exploring ways to hold Beijing accountable. He and his aides have sharpened their criticism of China, hinting at possible retaliation through tariffs. On Monday, a top U.S. health official spoke with his Taiwan counterpart on giving the island a bigger role in the virus fight.
“The Chinese Mission hereby expresses strong indignation and firm opposition,” it said in the statement. “The government of the People’s Republic China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,” it said.