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ROC Central News Agency

Blinken reaffirms Taiwan Strait commitment in meeting with Chinese minister

ROC Central News Agency

09/24/2022 07:20 PM

Washington, Sept. 23 (CNA) United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on Friday Washington's commitment to "peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅), according to the U.S. Department of State.

Ned Price, spokesperson for the Department of State, said in a readout that the meeting between Blinken and Wang, who is on a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, had touched upon U.S.-China relations, the Taiwan Strait and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the meeting, the U.S.' top diplomat emphasized that "the U.S. is committed to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait" in accordance with its longstanding "one China" policy, Price said.

Meanwhile, Wang, who concurrently serves as China's state councilor, criticized American leaders for signaling "wrong and dangerous messages" by publicly saying that the U.S. would intervene in the event of an attack on Taiwan by China, according to a readout issued by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the meeting.

While the current U.S. government has repeatedly said it does not support Taiwan's independence, what Washington has done recently has gone against its words, the readout cited Wang as saying.

Wang also warned that the more rampant the activities by the "Taiwan independence forces" were, the less likely that the Taiwan issue could be resolved through peaceful means, according to the readout.

Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of Chinese territory, has pledged to bring the island under its control including by force if necessary.

Wang's comments came less than a week after U.S. President Joe Biden, when asked in a televised interview whether the U.S. would come to Taiwan's defense in the event of a Chinese invasion, replied, "Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack."

Over the past few decades, the U.S. has intentionally maintained a stance characterized as "strategic ambiguity," under which Washington is deliberately vague about whether it would send troops to help defend Taiwan if the island was to be attacked by China.

Since taking office in January 2021, however, Biden has repeatedly used language that appeared to depart from this stance, with Sunday's interview being the clearest message he has made on the issue so far.

The Chinese official also issued similar warnings a day ago, saying at a talk hosted by the New York-based organization, Asia Society, that the Taiwan issue was becoming the biggest risk in the bilateral ties between China and the U.S.

Wang accused the U.S. government of contributing to the growth of "independence forces" in Taiwan, which he said were to be blamed for strained cross-strait relations and thus must be resolutely resisted.

The Chinese official also reiterated that while Beijing continued to seek unification with Taiwan through peaceful means, it "reserves the option of taking all necessary measures" to achieve its unification goal.

In a press statement issued on Saturday (Taipei time), Taiwan's foreign ministry slammed Wang, saying the remarks by the Chinese official were a "distortion of facts" and an act of "coercion."

According to the ministry, China has been calling for opposition to what it called independence forces in Taiwan in an attempt to divert the attention of the international community from the fact that it has been pursuing its "expansionist ambitions."

China has been "the source of problems" in the Indo-Pacific by engaging in military exercises and cyberattacks, as well as spreading disinformation in the region, the ministry said.

The ministry thanked "friends" from the international community for voicing their concern over the tense situation in the Taiwan Strait while urging more nations to render their support for Taiwan.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Teng Pei-ju)


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