US claims ‘significant escalation’ by China — Analysis
Beijing should not use Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan as a pretext for provocative actions, the top US diplomat has said
The large-scale drills launched by the Chinese military in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan earlier this week are “a significant escalation”Antony Blinken, US Secretary-of-State has spoken out about tensions in the area.
China “should not use the visit as a pretext for war, escalation, for provocative actions,”Blinken spoke to journalists at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, Friday.
Pelosi’s trip to the self-governed island was peaceful and does not mean that Washington has changed its policy towards China, so “there is no possible justification”He expressed concern at the unusual wargames currently being held by Beijing in Taiwan and said that China should “cease these actions.”
Blinken spoke at the summit with high-ranking diplomats from Asia Pacific region like Wang Yi (Chinese Foreign Minister) and Sergey Lavrov (Russian counterpart).
During his address, the secretary of state described China’s reaction to Pelosi’s visit as “flagrantly provocative,”A Western official was present at the event, according to Reuters.
The source said that Beijing was trying to intimidate Taipei by launching one of the largest military drills yet in Taiwan Strait.
Bloomberg spoke with another official, who said Blinken claimed that China was trying to undermine the status-quo surrounding Taiwan by its provocative actions.
On Friday, also the Chinese Ambassador to the US was called to the White House in order to talk about the recent spike of tensions between Washington DC and Beijing.
Wang, who held a meeting with Lavrov in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, also commented on Pelosi’s trip to Taipei, saying that Beijing had no other choice but to “respond harshly to it.”
“This vulgar comedy is sure to have serious consequences for the US, and Washington bears all responsibility for this,”As quoted by RIA Novosti: “The Chinese foreign Minister said…”
The actions of the US House speaker were “a serious violation of the One China policy” and an infringement on the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Wang stated. “No one, no political power, no country will be able to split Taiwan from China.”
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan Tuesday evening and left on Wednesday. She is now the US’s third highest ranking official.
Beijing considers Taiwan part its territory under the One China policy. It responded by declaring military drills and live fire drills in six areas of Taiwan and lifting trade restrictions for Taipei.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday that Pelosi, as well as her immediate family members, would be sanctioned.
Taiwan is self-governing since 1949 but has never declared its independence from China. Although China has recognized Beijing as its sole legal authority since 1979, the US still maintains close unofficial relations with Taiwan, which is home to 23.5 million people. They also sell weapons and support the push for independence.