(AP) Beijing raised objections Saturday to a move by the European Parliament to build closer trade ties with Taiwan, saying it opposes the development of any official ties between the sides.
The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a resolution on EU-Taiwan trade relations, urging its executive body to begin bilateral talks over an agreement on investment protection and market access.
The Chinese government has long considered Taiwan a renegade province since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949, and insists that Taiwan is part of its domestic affairs and should be free from any foreign interference.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Saturday that Beijing does not object to nongovernmental contact between the European Union and Taiwan, but that it opposes the development of any official ties.
"We hope that the EU side could bear in mind the overall interests of China-EU relations, earnestly honor its commitment to the one-China principle, deal with Taiwan-related issues with prudence and refrain from having any official contact of signing any official agreement with Taiwan," Hua said.
The EU is Taiwan's fourth-largest trade partner, and Taiwan is the EU's seventh-largest trade partner in Asia.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry has said that its government "welcomes" the resolution and is "grateful" to the European Parliament. Taiwan hopes an investment agreement would pave the way for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement in the future.