Last Friday, U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback spoke in Hong Kong saying that China was waging “war with faith” and that it needed to respect the rights of their people to worship, especially those locked up in internment camps in Xinjiang. In Taiwan this week, Ambassador Brownback addressed the issue of Taiwan which China considers a troublesome territory and has pledged to unite, by force if necessary.
Brownback’s visit to Taipei was viewed by some in Taiwan as a sign of support from the Trump administration amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging that China takes the position that there is “one China” and Taiwan is part of it. But the United States is also Taiwan’s biggest ally and arms supplier and is duty-bound by legislation to help the island defend itself. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China opposed any kind of official contact between the United States and Taiwan.
China was strongly opposed to the envoy’s “wrong comments” about religious freedom and had lodged “stern representations” with the United States, Lu said, adding that China protected religious freedom.