Blinken Warns China, Says US will Help Taiwan to Defend Itself

Photo credit: AP

Talking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed that, pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States have long standing commitment to ensure Taiwan had the ability to defend itself if attacked and that policy hasn’t changed.

Amid tensions over Taiwan with Beijing, which claims it as part of its territory, Blinken said the US wants to make sure no one takes any unilateral action that would disrupt the status quo with regard to the island.

Despite being repeatedly asked if he could specifically confirm President Biden’s statement in a CNN town hall that in the event of an attack from China, the US would come to Taiwan’s defense, Blinken only reiterated the US resolute commitment and responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act.

He continued to explain Biden’s statement, noting he only made clear that the US will do everything necessary to make sure Taiwan has the means to defend itself.

The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act calls for the US to offer to Taiwan defense articles and services in any necessary quantity ‘to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability’, but the US has long operated under a policy of “strategic ambiguity” in Taiwan-related dealings.

Previously on Sunday on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, Blinken raised a warning to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi regarding Taiwan, also expressing concerns about a range of China’s actions that undermine the international order and that run counter to US values and interests, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong ect.

During the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister, Blinken also emphasized areas in which the US and China can work together, such as North Korea, Afghanistan and the climate crisis.

Noting that he was being pragmatic, the US Secretary of State also expressed last week support for Taiwan to join the UN, pointing to the fact that Taiwan’s participation in certain UN specialized agencies in the past 50 years is evidence that the international community values Taiwan’s contributions.

Blinken’s comments provoked a prompt response from the spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, Ma Xiaoguang, stressing China is against Taiwan joining the UN, saying the island has no right to do so since it’s a part of China and the UN is an international governmental organisation composed of sovereign states.

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