Blinken: Any Move by China to Invade Taiwan Will Result in ‘Terrible Consequences’
16:21 GMT 04.12.2021 (Updated: 13:26 GMT 06.08.2022)
China continues to perceive Taiwan as a breakaway province, while the authorities in Taipei have repeatedly rejected Beijing's proposal to stick to the "one country, two systems" principle.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned of horrendous repercussions of a potential scenario of China invading Taiwan.
Speaking at the Reuters Next conference on Friday, Blinken voiced hope that “China's leaders think very carefully about this and about not precipitating a crisis that would have, I think, terrible consequences for lots of people, and one that's in no one's interest, starting with China”.
When asked whether the US could send its forces in the event of an invasion of Taiwan
by Beijing, Blinken said that Washington has been “[…] consistently clear, over many years that we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself and […] we will continue to make good on that commitment”.
He spoke after US President Joe Biden
said at a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in mid-November that the US adheres to the “one China” policy and does not support "Taiwan’s independence".
"The US government will consistently and long-term adhere to the 'one China' policy, [the US] does not support 'Taiwan's independence' and hopes to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region”, Biden pointed out.
POTUS noted during the meeting that the US neither aims to change China’s system nor enter into a conflict with Beijing, according to CCTV.
The remarks came after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen acknowledged in late October the presence of US troops on Taiwanese territory for training purposes.
18 November 2021, 19:07 GMT
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that US Marines and special operations forces had been secretly training Taiwan's soldiers "for more than a year".
In an interview with CNN, Tsai did not elaborate on how many US military personnel were on the island, but said it was "not as many as people thought". She stressed that Taiwan has "a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our [bilateral] defence capability".
The Taiwanese president asserted that the alleged threat from China "is increasing every day", but made it clear that Taipei is open to talks with Beijing.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted to the remarks by stressing that Beijing firmly opposes any form of official exchanges and military contacts between the US and Taiwan
The remarks followed Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responding to US President Joe Biden's previous promise to "defend Taiwan". The spokesman urged POTUS not to underestimate China's commitment to its claims to the island.
"Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory", Wang argued, adding that "the Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention".
This was preceded by the Chinese military sending almost 40 fighter jets to fly near Taiwan's air defence identification zone for two days in a row in early October. Taiwan's Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang responded by condemning the flights as "brutal and barbarian actions", which he claimed were jeopardising regional peace.
18 November 2021, 01:42 GMT
The situation has been exacerbated by the US repeatedly sending its warships to the Taiwan Strait, separating the island from Mainland China
. Beijing dubs such missions provocations, slamming Washington as "the destroyer of peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait and "a security risk creator in the region".
Beijing considers the island an integral part of China, and adheres to a policy of peaceful reunification under the "One China – Two Systems" model.
The US does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but maintains a representative office in Taipei, remaining the island's biggest supplier of military hardware.