China’s Taiwan military drills ‘a significant escalation’: Antony Blinken

PHNOM PENH: US Secretary State Antony Blinken on friday condemned China’s military exercises surround Taiwan is “a significant escalation”.
Blinken said there was “no justification” for exercises launched by Beijing in response to US House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan Nancy Pelosi.
China has fired ballistic missiles and deployed warplanes and warships around Taiwan, claiming dangerous no-go zones on some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
“These provocations are a significant escalation” Blinken said after talks with Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Phnom Penh.
Blinken said this week’s breakthrough was Beijing’s latest attempt to change the fragile status quo over self-ruled Taiwan, which China’s ruling Communist Party sees as part of its territory. be withdrawn by force if necessary.
He said he warned Wang at a recent meeting in Indonesia that Pelosi – the highest-ranking elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years – might make the trip to the island.
“We anticipated that China could take steps like this – in fact, we described this exact scenario,” Blinken said.
“The reality is that the speaker’s visit took place peacefully. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response.”
He said the US position on Taiwan has not changed and that the country will “not be provoked” by China’s actions.
Beijing insists its war games are a “necessary” response to Pelosi’s visit.

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