U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. Photo: POOL/AFP
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Blinken urges calm on Taiwan in talks with China

8 Comments
By Shaun Tandon and Nicolas Revise

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Friday for calm over Taiwan as he met his Chinese counterpart, as soaring tensions showed signs of easing a notch.

Blinken met for 90 minutes with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, in talks a U.S. official described as "extremely candid" and focused largely on Taiwan.

Blinken "stressed that preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is critical to regional and global security and prosperity," a State Department statement said.

He "discussed the need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the US-PRC relationship, especially during times of tension," it added, using the acronym for the People's Republic of China.

A State Department official described the exchange on Taiwan as "direct and honest."

The official said Blinken also renewed U.S. warnings not to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine, amid guarded U.S. hopes that Beijing is taking a distance from Moscow, nominally its ally.

Wang met in New York with Ukraine's foreign minister for the first time since the war and, in a Security Council session Thursday, emphasized the need for a ceasefire rather than support for Russia.

Blinken, who went ahead with the talks despite the death of his father the previous day, met Wang for the first time since a sit-down in July in Bali, where both sides appeared optimistic for more stability.

One month later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, infuriating Beijing, which staged exercises seen as a trial run for an invasion of the self-governing democracy, which it claims as its territory.

And in an interview aired Sunday, President Joe Biden said he was ready to intervene militarily if China uses force in Taiwan, once again deviating from decades of US ambiguity.

The U.S. official said Blinken insisted to Wang that "there has been no change" to the U.S. policy of only recognizing Beijing and voiced opposition to "unilateral changes to the status quo" by either side.

In a sign that tensions have eased, Wang also met in New York with U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, despite China's announcement after Pelosi's visit that it was curbing cooperation on the issue, a key priority for Biden.

But in a speech before his talks with Blinken, Wang called Taiwan "the biggest risk in China-US relations" and accused the United States of stoking pro-independence forces.

"Taiwan independence is like a highly disruptive great rhinoceros charging toward us. It must be stopped resolutely," he said at the Asia Society think tank.

"Just as the U.S. will not allow Hawaii to be stripped away, China has the right to uphold the unification of the country," he said.

He denounced the U.S. decision to "allow" the Taiwan visit by Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency after the vice president. The Biden administration, while privately concerned about her trip, noted that Congress is a separate branch of government.

But Wang was conciliatory toward Biden. The New York talks are expected to lay the groundwork for a first meeting between Biden and President Xi Jinping since they became their two countries' leaders, likely in Bali in November on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 economic powers.

Wang said that both Biden and Xi seek to "make the China-US relationship work" and to "steer clear of conflict and confrontation."

The U.S. Congress is a stronghold of support for Taiwan, a vibrant democracy and major technological power.

Last week, a Senate committee took a first step to providing billions of dollars in weapons directly to Taiwan to deter China, a ramp-up from decades of only selling weapons requested by Taipei.

Tensions have also risen over human rights, with the United States accusing the communist state of carrying out genocide against the mostly Muslim Uyghur people.

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


8 Comments
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The World has enough problems on it's hands with Russia and Ukraine. Russia could easily slip up and launch a Nuclear attack on selected Ukrainian targets, and would the West stand back and do nothing ? However, China may seek the opportunity at that time to launch a preemptive strike against Taiwan, a "Country" the US has pledged to defend.

To counter Putin's declaration to use Nukes if an attack is made upon Russian Territories, NATO should counter this, with should Nuclear fallout resulting from such a retaliation, cross into any NATO territory, then that would be deemed an act of War against NATO. Perhaps, that may reduce some of the rhetoric coming from Moscow.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

To counter Putin's declaration to use Nukes if an attack is made upon Russian Territories, NATO should counter this, with should Nuclear fallout resulting from such a retaliation, cross into any NATO territory, then that would be deemed an act of War against NATO. Perhaps, that may reduce some of the rhetoric coming from Moscow.

Based on statements Mr. Putin made two days ago in his speech announcing the mobilization of reserves I suspect certain western powers have been privately telling the Russians that using a nuclear weapon, or even making the preparations to use them, activities NATO knows well and has the means to detect, would draw immediate military action to stop the attack from happening. The F-117, B-2 and F-35 were and are designed for exactly that mission and they would not need nuclear weapons necessarily to do it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Every time Blinken and Biden opened their mouths, nothing but lies and hypocrisy came out. It also seems that Biden doesn't even know where he's going half the times.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Good to see the U.S and China meeting face to face, nothing like the good old hand shake.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, ignore our highly public attempts to encourage separatists to declare independence because domestic politics is what is motivating it. We promise to deny the legitimacy of such a declaration by the government of Taipei the same way we're denying the legitimacy of similar declarations by the governments of Donetsk etc.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

So, ignore our highly public attempts to encourage separatists to declare independence because domestic politics is what is motivating it. We promise to deny the legitimacy of such a declaration by the government of Taipei the same way we're denying the legitimacy of similar declarations by the governments of Donetsk etc.

lol No. Taiwan and Donetsk are incomparable. Taiwan has insisted on it's independence since the ROC fled to Taiwan. Also, Donetsk isn't trying to "declare independence." No, they, or Russian backed groups, want to rejoin Russia. Russia in turn, of course, fanned tensions in eastern Ukraine as the pretext to annex large swaths of Ukraine. So no, not the same. Not even remotely comparable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is better that they have good relations..

In any case, the reunification of China with its province of Taiwan is inevitable..

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Just as the U.S. will not allow Hawaii to be stripped away, China has the right to uphold the unification of the country," he said.

An awful and completely dissimilar example. Hawaii is not ruled separately, does not have its own currency and defense forces and is an active and current state of the US union.

Taiwan has never been an active part of the CCP ruled territories. It has remained separate from China since 1949 when the CCP revolution took the mainland, and has been ruled by ROC continuously since the end of WWII in 1945 and the end of Japanese administration.

Hawaii is more like Hainan. Both Islands and both functioning parts of the US and China respectively. But like Hawaii, Hainan is not looking to separate from it's current nation.

The Taiwan situation is unique and attempts to make comparison with the US or any other nation is spurious and pointlessly false.

Taiwan is already a functioning independent state that has been in existence for over 70 years. It is not part of Mainland China and is outside of China's jurisdiction. Making a claim does not alter the facts as they are. Taiwan is free, independent and democratic and a functioning nation. China is a separate nation, and neighbor of Taiwan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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