US, China sparring over Taiwan heats up again – Community News
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US, China sparring over Taiwan heats up again

WASHINGTON: The United States and China are ramping up their war of words over Taiwan in a long drawn-out dispute that has significant implications for power dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Amid a wave of Chinese military activity near the island that China considers a renegade province and has vowed to reclaim by force if necessary, Washington and Beijing have launched new campaigns for global support for their respective positions, each with using the stern and exalted language of sovereignty and international precedent. And neither is going backwards.
While the disagreement over Taiwan is not new and has long tormented relations between the countries, recent developments suggest the two are getting closer to a confrontation. Last week in Beijing, President Joe Biden set alarm bells ringing by saying the US is determined to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of a Chinese attack.
China protested and the Biden administration tried to downplay the comments. Officials from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon all said the president did not intend to imply changes to the US’s “one China policy,” which Beijing recognizes, but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei.
The officials have struggled to say that America’s commitment to Taiwan remains steadfast but is still guided by a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over military-related details that do not conform to a treaty mutual defense pact. Since then, however, the government has raised the bar on the diplomatic front.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday publicly urged other members of the United Nations to reject China’s claim of absolute sovereignty over Taiwan and, along with the US, Taipei’s independent participation in international organizations on transportation, health, climate change, culture. and support education.
“As the international community faces an unprecedented number of complex and global issues, it is critical that all stakeholders help address these issues,” Blinken said in a statement. “This includes the 24 million people living in Taiwan. Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one.”
He noted that Taiwan has been prevented from participating in meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization, despite being a major transit hub, and the World Health Organization, despite an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the UN and its related bodies, all of which greatly benefit from their contributions,” Blinken said. “We therefore encourage all UN member states to join us in robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment on what the government would define as “meaningful participation.”
Blinken’s statement came just five days after Biden’s comments on Taiwan’s defense and just two days after the State Department announced senior U.S. and Taiwanese officials were meeting virtually to expand Taiwan’s participation in the UN and other international groups. to discuss.
At that October 22 meeting, government officials reiterated “the U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and discussed ways to highlight Taiwan’s ability to contribute to efforts across a wide range of of subjects,” said the State Department.
Aside from complaining about Biden’s initial comments, China reacted angrily to that discussion, criticizing the government for making “irresponsible statements” encouraging Taiwanese independence and for ending “official contacts” of the US with the government of the island.
“Taiwan’s participation in the activities of the international organizations should be treated in accordance with the One-China principle,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Taiwan’s efforts to expand its so-called ‘international space’ with foreign aid are naturally aimed at expanding the space for ‘independence from Taiwan’ and secession. It is sure to end in failure.”
The back-and-forth is set against a backdrop of increasing belligerence from both sides toward the other, even as they claim to have common interests on issues ranging from trade to climate to North Korea. Relations have sunk to new lows since coming under the Trump administration, which took a confrontational approach to trade, visas, diplomatic representation and educational exchanges.
While both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have been resolute in opposing Chinese activities in Tibet, Hong Kong, China’s western Xinjiang region and the South China Sea, the Taiwanese issue predates most of those irritants.
China has recently stepped up its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary by flying fighter jets near the island and practicing beach landings.
China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949. The US broke formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 to recognize Beijing. The US is not openly disputing China’s claim to Taiwan, but is committed by law to ensuring that the island can defend itself and to treat all threats against the country as a serious concern.
Under President Xi Jinping, who is also Communist Party leader and head of the armed forces, China has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. Over the national holiday weekend at the beginning of the month, China sent a record 149 military planes southwest of Taiwan in attack group formations, prompting Taiwan to scramble planes and activate its air defense missile systems.
China has also recently held beach-landing drills on its side of the roughly 160-kilometer-wide (100-mile) Taiwan Strait, which, like the plane raids, it described as a warning to Tsai Ing-wen’s government.
The US has bolstered its support for Taiwan with military sales.


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