US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday urged China to dial down actions that the US says have caused tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
The US is concerned that tensions across the Taiwan Strait have increased and believes China is contributing to those tensions through provocative military activities around Taiwan and in the Strait, Sullivan said aboard Air Force One en route to Asia.
Sullivan reiterated that US policy toward Taiwan based on Washington’s “one China” policy, the Three Joint Communiques, the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances” has not changed.
The US is committed to supporting peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and no unilateral changes to the “status quo,” Sullivan said, adding that it would help ease tensions if China “dialed down” its actions and activities.
Sullivan was responding to a question about a telephone conversation he had on Wednesday with Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪).
Yang told Sullivan that the US has been adopting narratives and actions regarding Taiwan for a while that interfere with China’s domestic politics and are harmful to China’s interests, Xinhua news agency and China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.
If the US persisted in playing the “Taiwan card” and stayed on the wrong path, it could lead to a “dangerous” situation, Yang was cited as saying.
Yang also said that China would take “firm actions” to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests, and that the US can count on China to keep its promise.
Specifically asked about Yang’s remarks and the potentially “dangerous” situation, Sullivan said that China has offered formulas like that for months, and he did not think there was anything particularly new in Yang’s statement.
Sullivan would not reveal what he and Yang discussed on the topic of Taiwan, but he said that Taiwan and several other issues, including North Korea’s nuclear missile activities, were covered.
The phone call came one day before Sullivan set off with US President Joe Biden on Biden’s first presidential trip to Asia, which includes stops in South Korea and Japan.
Biden is expected to meet with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and attend a leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), an alliance of the US, Japan, India and Australia, in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Biden’s trip has been portrayed by media as being heavily focused on China and North Korea.
Citing Japanese government sources, Kyodo News on Tuesday reported that Kishida and Biden would highlight “peace and stability for Taiwan” and “share concerns that the Ukraine crisis could occur in East Asia.”
An article published by Politico on Thursday said that the Quad summit of alliance leaders would focus on countering China’s rising economic, diplomatic and military clout in the Indo-Pacific region.
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