China’s increasingly provocative rhetoric and actions against Taiwan are “deeply destabilizing,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a key China policy speech on Thursday.
“Beijing is engaged in increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity, like flying PLA [Chinese People’s Liberation Army] aircraft near Taiwan on an almost daily basis,” Blinken said in the 45-minute speech at George Washington University in Washington, during which he outlined the US administration’s policy toward China.
“These words and actions are deeply destabilizing,” and “risk miscalculation and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Blinken said that the US would manage its relationship with China “responsibly” to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, which he said is “a matter of international concern” and “critical to regional and global security, and prosperity.”
However, Blinken said that US policy on Taiwan has not changed.
The US “remains committed to our ‘one China’ policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques [and] the six assurances,” he said.
“We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side. We do not support Taiwan independence and we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means,” he added.
Blinken said that the US would continue to uphold its commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining sufficient self-defense capability in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, which has served as the foundation for Taiwan-US relations since 1979.
The US would also “maintain our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security or the social or economic system of Taiwan,” he said.
Blinken also said that the US would continue to expand its cooperation with Taiwan on many shared interests and values.
That includes deepening bilateral economic ties and supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community, he said.
In Taipei yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters that China is changing the “status quo” and using “inappropriate force” by conducting military sorties near Taiwan.
Su thanked Blinken for voicing concern over China’s military maneuvers and vowed that Taiwan would defend itself and work with other countries to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
The Democratic Progressive Party yesterday also thanked Blinken for reiterating US commitments to Taiwan’s security and international participation.
From Blinken’s speech, it is evident that the US is highly concerned about China’s suppression of Taiwan in multiple areas, party spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興) said that Blinken’s comments were consistent with the KMT’s long-standing positions on defending the Constitution, maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and opposing Taiwanese independence.
In the South China Morning Post ahead of Blinken’s speech on Thursday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang (秦剛) wrote an op-ed entitled “One China principle is the bedrock of peace across the Taiwan Strait.”
“This bedrock, however, is in peril like never before,” he wrote, blaming Taipei and Washington for “hollowing out” the “one China” policy, while Beijing is “doing our utmost for a peaceful reunification.”
Ting Shu-fan (丁樹範), professor emeritus at National Chengchi University, said that Blinken merely reiterated the US’ existing stance by saying the nation would try to enhance its relationship with Taiwan in accordance with its “one China” policy.
Blinken’s remarks did not come as a surprise, nor did they contain the more assertive wording used by US President Joe Biden, Ting said, referring to the president’s comments in Tokyo on Monday suggesting the US would intervene militarily if China were to attack Taiwan.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Chun-lin and Shih Hsiao-kuang
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