US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken today accused China of “irresponsible actions” by cutting off key channels of communication with Washington, and said Beijing’s recent actions in Taiwan showed it was moving away from the practice of peaceful problem-solving and moving towards direction of the use of force.
His comments came as Chinese aircraft and warships conducted a mock attack drill on Taiwan today, officials from Taipei said, as part of Beijing’s actions following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week.
China’s retaliation by suspending bilateral processes in eight key areas, including defense, drugs, cross-border crime and climate change, is among the moves that will punish the whole world, not just the US, he said. Blinken at a press conference in Manila.
“These include several military channels, which are critical to avoid potential misunderstanding and crisis,” he said.
“The suspension of climate cooperation does not punish the US, it punishes the world, especially the developing world. We should not be held hostage to cooperation on issues of global concern because of the differences between our two countries.”
Tackling climate change has been an important area of cooperation between the two superpowers.
Blinken said the U.S. was listening to allies expressing concerns about what he called China’s dangerous and destabilizing actions around Taiwan, but noted that Washington would remain steadfast in its handling of the situation.
The US secretary said that at a regional meeting in Cambodia he had conveyed to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi the message that the US is determined to keep communication channels open in order to avoid miscalculations.
“So let me be clear, the US does not believe it is in the interests of Taiwan, the region, or its own national security to escalate the situation,” he said.
“We will keep the channels of communication open with China, with the aim of avoiding escalation due to misunderstanding or misunderstanding.”
He added: “Maintaining dialogue is arguably even more important when we are going through a period of high tensions…We seek to de-escalate these tensions. And we think dialogue is a very important element in that.”
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