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Taiwan: U.S accuses China of escalating tensions

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The United States has accused China of escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait by carrying out “provocative” and “irresponsible” actions.

Washington’s accusation comes after Taiwan said China rehearsed an attack on the island.

“These activities are a significant escalation in China’s efforts to change the status quo. They are provocative, and irresponsible and raise the risk of miscalculation.

“They are also at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is what the world expects,” a White House spokesperson said.

The heightened tensions follow a trip to Taiwan by a US delegation led by senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

China said Ms. Pelosi’s visit “seriously threatened” peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

China views the visit as a challenge to its claims of sovereignty over Taiwan, which sees itself as distinct.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said Chinese ships and planes carried out missions in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, with some crossing the median line – an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.

Taiwan military said it responded “appropriately” to the live-fire exercises, which it described as a simulated attack on the island, by dispatching multiple aircraft and ships on Sunday morning.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei, premier Su Tseng-chang accused China of “arrogantly” using the exercises to disrupt regional stability and appealed for restraint from the Chinese side.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control.

It announced on Friday that sanctions have been placed on Ms. Pelosi and her family over the visit.

Beijing also announced it was halting cooperation with the US in several key areas including climate change, military talks, and efforts to combat international crime.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of taking “irresponsible steps” by blocking key communication channels with Washington.

Ms. Pelosi – a long-time China critic and the highest-ranking US politician to travel to the island in 25 years – arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, despite Beijing’s warnings.

 

Zainab Sa’id

Source BBC
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