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China denounces name change of Japanese body in Taiwan

BEIJING, Dec. 28 -- Japan's "Interchange Association," responsible for maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan, is to be named "Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association" as of Jan. 1, drawing criticism from China.

"We firmly oppose any attempt to create 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan', and express strong dissatisfaction with the Japanese side's negative move," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing Wednesday.

Hua urged Japan to adhere to the principles set in the 1972Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and its commitments to China, sticking to the one-China principle and handling the Taiwan-related issues prudently.

According to the joint statement, the Japanese government fully understands and respects the Chinese government's position on Taiwan as an inalienable part of the territory of China.

"Japan should refrain from sending the wrong messages to the Taiwan authorities and the international community or cause new disturbances to China-Japan relations," Hua added.

China has repeatedly said the one-China principle is the foundation of its relations with foreign countries and that no country should maintain official ties with Taiwan.

China resumed diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe in Beijing on Monday, after the African nation cut "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan region last week.