China Fumes After Taiwan’s Flag Raising in Washington

On New Years’ Day, 2015, the red, white, and blue flag of the Republic of China rose outside of the Twin Oaks Estate in , D.C., the residence of U.S.-based Taiwanese ambassadors before  switched its diplomatic allegiance to Beijing on New Year’s Day, 1979. While Taiwanese media heralded this first flag-raising in 36 years a “time for rejoicing,” the Foreign Ministry in Beijing responded with unsurprising protest. Reuters’ Sui-Lee Wee and David Brunnstrom report:

“We resolutely oppose the so-called flag-raising ceremony by ’s agency in the United States and have lodged solemn representations with the United States,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

Hua called on the United States to abide by the ‘One China’ policy and “prudently and properly handle” any issues relating to Taiwan to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States “did not know about the flag raising in advance.”

“No U.S. government personnel attended the event in any capacity,” she said. […] [Source]

Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang Party has forged closer relations with mainland China in recent years, and mounting public unease that this could allow Beijing more influence boiled over last year when student protesters occupied the Legislative Yuan to protest a trade agreement. Last month, Kuomintang candidates suffered major losses in local elections, and pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party members took up that slack. Following that election and ahead of the presidential elections next year, some predict that cross-strait relations could sour further.