The US on Friday condemned China for cutting off bilateral cooperation in a number of key areas and said Beijing could ease tensions over Taiwan by ending its “provocative” live-fire military drills.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that China’s decision to halt engagement on climate change and other issues was “fundamentally irresponsible.”
“They think they’re punishing us by shutting down this channel,” Kirby told reporters.
“They’re actually punishing the whole world because the climate crisis doesn’t recognize geographic boundaries and borders,” he said. “It’s truly a global and existential crisis.”
“The world’s largest emitter now is refusing to engage on critical steps necessary to combat the climate crisis, which actually impacts our partners from rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands and fires across Europe,” Kirby added.
“We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a news conference during a visit to Manila.
China earlier said it was ending cooperation with the US on a litany of key issues including climate change, efforts to counter drug trafficking and military talks, as relations between the two countries nosedived over Taiwan.
Beijing has reacted furiously to a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
Since Thursday, China has conducted a series of huge military drills around Taiwan proper, which have been roundly condemned by the US and other countries.
Kirby said China can “go a long way to taking the tensions down by simply stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric.”
Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan told local media following an ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday that he has spoken to Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) about the issue.
Balakrishnan told Wang that the “main danger is you have got a lot of ships and planes and missiles massed around there. There is a danger, even though I know you do not want to go to war, but there is a danger of accidents and miscalculations,” a transcript released yesterday by the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed.
“For what it is worth, we repeat the appeal that for the rest of us in Southeast Asia, we actually want temperatures to come down. It is actually very important for Southeast Asia, for China and the United States to get along,” he said.
“Once you split [the US-China relations] apart, it means higher prices, it means less efficient supply chains. It means a more divided world, a more disrupted and dangerous world. Those are the stakes,” he said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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