Saturday, April 1, 2023

China’s overreaction to Taiwan spells danger to peace SE Asia: US

China is endangering peace in Southeast Asia with its “overreaction” to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, America’s envoy Nicholas Burns said on Thursday, while reiterating that there is no shift in America’s ‘one-China policy’ as alleged by Beijing.
Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which conducted a series of provocative military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence. The US has not shifted its stance on Taiwan and remains committed to the ‘one-China policy’, but Beijing’s “overreaction” to Pelosi’s visit to Taipei risks a peaceful resolution, Burns said.
Burns, who was appointed US Ambassador to China in March, said countries in Southeast Asia should also be concerned about China’s aggression in the Taiwan Strait, given its importance as a major shipping route.
“If anyone has changed policy here, it’s really the People’s Republic of China, with their overreaction, for nearly two months now since Speaker Pelosi’s visit,” he said speaking at the Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore.
“We’ve had a median line in the Taiwan Strait (separating between China and Taiwan) for 68 years; it has really kept the peace. [China] tries to erase that: they fired missiles over Taiwan into the Japanese economic zone, they simulated a naval blockade and air blockade,” Burns was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
For days, China has launched massive military drills encircling Taiwan, which it regards as a breakaway province after Pelosi defied Beijing’s warnings and visited the self-ruled island in early August.
It later suspended dialogue with the US on military and climate change matters.
For its part, China earlier angrily responded to US President Joe Biden’s remarks that the US forces would defend Taiwan if Beijing tries to invade the self-ruled island, saying it will “strive” for the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with “utmost sincerity” but “reserve all options”.
Biden said, “Yes”, while replying to a question during an interview about whether US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Reacting to Biden’s comments on September 19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said the US leaders’ remarks seriously violated the ‘one-China policy’ and three joint communiques related to Taiwan.
To achieve the complete unification of the motherland is the shared aspiration and sacred duty of all Chinese people, she said.
“We will strive for the prospect of a peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts. In the meantime, we will not tolerate any activities that are aimed to split China and we reserve all options of taking the necessary measures,” Mao added.


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