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China Denounces Taiwan Provision in US Defense Bill

FILE - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

China reiterated it is firmly against any military contacts between the United States and Taiwan, after the passage of a new U.S. defense bill that could lead to American warships visiting Taiwan.

"China firmly opposes any forms of official exchange and military contact between the U.S. and Taiwan," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday.

Kang said Beijing had made "stern representations" to Washington over the section on Taiwan in the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, which was passed Friday by Congress.

The bill directs the Pentagon to submit a report to Congress on the possibility of reestablishing port calls between the U.S. and Taiwanese navies.

It also calls for increased training for Taiwan's military and encourages it to increase defense spending.

Beijing has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the 1940s and tries to limit the island's international profile.