China is “firmly” opposed to the launch of the so-called “Taiwan-U.S. 21st Century Trade Initiative,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, adding its government is opposes any form of official contact between Taiwan and other countries.

“The United States should prudently handle trade and economic ties with Taiwan to avoid sending the wrong message to Taiwanese separatists,” Chinese ministry spokesman Gao Feng told an online briefing.

The United States will start new trade talks with Taiwan, US officials said on Wednesday.

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