The flash tells that China’s Wang peace in the Taiwan Strait is decisive

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NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Chinese counterpart on Friday that maintaining peace and stability over Taiwan was vital as the two met amid high tensions over the Chinese-claimed island .

Taiwan was the focus of the 90-minute, “direct and frank” talks between Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, a senior administration official told reporters.

“For our part, the secretary made it crystal clear that, consistent with our long-standing one-China policy, which again has not changed, the maintenance of cross-strait peace and stability is absolutely, vitally important,” the official said.

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Tensions over Taiwan have risen after a visit there in August by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – which was followed by major Chinese military exercises – and a pledge by US President Joe Biden to defend the self-governing island.

Biden’s statement was his most explicit yet about committing US troops to defend the island. It was also the latest instance in which he appeared to go beyond a longstanding US policy of “strategic ambiguity”, which does not make clear whether Washington would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan. Read more

The White House has insisted its Taiwan policy has not changed, but China said Biden’s remarks sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan. Read more

In a phone call with Biden in July, China’s leader Xi Jinping warned about Taiwan, saying “those who play with fire will perish by it.”

The State Department had previously said Blinken’s meeting with Wang was part of Washington’s ongoing efforts to “maintain open lines of communication and manage competition responsibly,” and the senior official said Blinken had reiterated the United States’ openness to “cooperating with China on Issues of Global Concern”. .”

The flash also “highlighted the implications” if China were to provide material support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or engage in sanctions evasion, the official added.

US officials have previously said they had seen no evidence that China was providing such support.

The flash “underscored that the United States and China and the international community have an obligation to work to counter the effects of this invasion and also to deter Russia from taking further provocative actions,” the official said.

China views the democratically ruled Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.

Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.

‘KEEP OUR BILATERAL BOND’

Blinken’s meeting with Wang was preceded by a meeting between the foreign ministers of the Quad grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, who issued a statement referring to the Indo-Pacific, saying that “we strongly oppose any unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo or increase tensions in the region.”

The official who briefed Friday said that since Pelosi’s visit, “China has taken a series of provocative steps that, by design, have acted to change the status quo.”

US Vice President Kamala Harris will discuss Taiwan’s security during bilateral meetings with the leaders of key US allies Japan and South Korea when she visits their two countries next week, another senior administration official said on Friday. Read more

Speaking to the Asia Society think tank in New York on Thursday, Wang said the Taiwan issue was growing into the biggest risk in China-US relations.

“Should it be mishandled, it is highly likely to destroy our bilateral ties,” Wang said, according to a transcript from the Chinese embassy in Washington.

Likewise, the decades-old US law outlining Washington’s unofficial relations with Taiwan – which Beijing considers invalid – makes clear that Washington’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1979 “rests on the expectation that Taiwan’s future will be determined by peaceful funds.”

Earlier this week, Wang met with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the architect of US relations with Communist China, and said a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan was China’s ambition.

However, he said the possibility of a peaceful resolution was diminished by increasingly “embracing” Taiwanese independence sentiment, invoking a Chinese proverb: “It is better to lose a thousand soldiers than an inch of territory.”

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Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom, Michael Martina and Simon Lewis; Editing by Mary Milliken, Sam Holmes, Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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