US plan for ‘highest level’ Taiwan visit in decades angers China Aug 06, 2020 0 1105 12345 AFPTaipeiThe United States announced on Wednesday its highest-level visit to Taiwan since it switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979, a move Beijing blasted as a threat to “peace and stability”.The visit, headed by health chief Alex Azar, comes as relations between the world’s two biggest powers plunge to historic lows.“This marks... the first Cabinet member to visit in six years, and the highest level visit by a US Cabinet official since 1979,” said Washington’s de facto embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan, with no date yet given for the visit.Washington remains the leading arms supplier to the island but has historically been cautious in holding official contacts with it. Beijing views Taiwan as its own territory -- vowing to one day seize it -- and bristles at any moves by other countries to recognise or communicate with Taipei.“China firmly opposes official exchanges between the US and Taiwan,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said as he called for the visit to be cancelled.“We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle... to avoid seriously endangering Sino-US relations, as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” Taiwan said Azar would meet President Tsai Ing-wen.“(The) timely visit is another testament to the strong Taiwan-US partnership based on our longstanding friendship and shared values,” Tsai wrote on Twitter. Relations have warmed dramatically under President Donald Trump, who has used embracing democratic Taiwan more closely as a way to hit back at authoritarian Beijing as he clashes with China on a host of issues, including trade and coronavirus.Taiwan’s success at stopping its own virus outbreak -- and its emergence as one of Asia’s most progressive democracies -- has also earned the island growing bipartisan support in Washington.“The Trump administration is increasing its relations with Taiwan to a record-high level, sending a message to China that the US will not sacrifice Taiwan for its relations with China,” Eric Huang, an international relations analyst at Tamkang University in Taipei, told AFP. RELATED ARTICLES Croatia marks 25 years since war with tolerance message Aug 06, 2020 0 653 Countries tighten measures as coronavirus death toll exceeds 700,000 worldwide Aug 06, 2020 0 161 Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention Aug 06, 2020 0 1037 Five dead in US as downgraded storm Isaias reaches Canada AFP New York Tropical storm Isaias left at least five people dead as it pounded the US eastern seaboard with driving winds and heavy rain, leaving millions without power, before moving across Canada on Wednesday. Isaias .. Sarajevo FIlm Festival goes online because of COVID-19 BELGRADE: The 2020 Sarajevo Film Festival will be held online because of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Bosnia, the organisers said on Wednesday. The decision was made on the recommendation of the local health .. British lawmakers slam government’s ‘critical errors’ in pandemic LONDON: The British government made “critical errors” during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released on Wednesday. In its report regarding the British government’s handling of the .. New bridge in Genoa opens to traffic two years after deadly collapse AFP Genoa, Italy A gleaming new bridge in Genoa built after the deadly collapse of a viaduct opened on Tuesday, but critics say not enough has been done since the 2018 disaster to overhaul Italy’s crumbling .. Germany makes a ‘fortune’ from US troops, says Trump WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Germany made a “fortune” from US military personnel stationed there, amid plans to withdraw troops from the country. “They make a fortune off the troops, you .. Thousands rescued from destructive forest fires in southern France MARTIGUES: Almost 3,000 people were evacuated on Tuesday night, some by boat, from homes and camping sites near Marseille in southern France as forest fires tore through 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of vegetation. ..