Tensions over Taiwan have spiked since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August.
China has accused the US of sending “very wrong, dangerous signals” on the Internet Taiwanand has told Washington that it has “no right to interfere” in any method Beijing may use to “resolve” the Taiwan issue.
Taiwan was at the heart of a 90-minute “direct and honest” conversation between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, an official said. US officials told reporters.
“The minister made it clear that, consistent with our longstanding one China policy, once again unchanged, maintaining peace and stability across the strait is absolutely, extremely important,” he said. a senior US government official said.
China’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement about the meeting, said Washington was sending “very wrong and dangerous signals” about Taiwan, and that the more widespread Taiwan’s independence activities were, the more likely it would be to reach the less peaceful a solution is.
“The Taiwan issue is China’s internal matter, and the United States has no right to interfere in what method to use to resolve the issue,” the ministry quoted Wang as saying.
.@SecBlinken met with Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi at #UNGA and stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine. https://t.co/Z5D0xEXMT1
– Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) September 24, 2022
Chinese state media said that Wang’s meeting with Blinken referred to China’s stance on US “misbehavior” towards Taiwan.
China’s Global Times news agency quoted Wang as telling Blinken: “We must oppose and prevent ‘Taiwan independence’.”
The #Taiwan the question is #Chinainternal affairs and #WE has no right to interfere. The more rampant “Taiwan independence” activities are, the less likely there is to be a peaceful reunification. Obviously we must oppose and prevent “Taiwan independence”: Wang to Blinken https://t.co/1cgJO5SPpN
– Global Times (@globaltimesnews) September 24, 2022
Tensions over Taiwan have spiked since the visit there in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi – followed by large-scale Chinese military exercises – as well as a recent pledge by US President Joe Biden to protect the democratically administered island.
Biden’s statement was his clearest to date of sending US troops to defend the island.
Wang had a similar message for UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly during a meeting earlier this week also on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Wang said the UK should “respect its one-China pledge and unequivocally oppose ‘Taiwan independence’,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
No policy change
The White House insists its Taiwan policy has not changed, but China says Mr Biden’s remarks sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan.
China considers Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has does not preclude the use of force to do so.
Taiwan’s government strongly opposes China’s claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.
In a phone call with Biden in July, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned about Taiwan, saying “those who play with fire will perish by it”.
The State Department earlier said that Blinken’s meeting with Wang on Friday was part of a US effort to “maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage competition”.
Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for Asia under President Barack Obama, said it was important for Blinken and Wang to meet after the turbulence caused by Pelosi’s visit.
Russel said he hoped some progress would be made in arranging a meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Biden on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in November, which would be their first face-to-face meeting as is the leader.
“Wang and Blinken’s decision to meet in New York does not guarantee the November summit will go smoothly or even that it will. But if they can’t meet, that means the prospects for a summit in November are very poor,” said Russell, now the Asia Association.
In a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Thursday, Wang said the Taiwan issue is becoming the biggest risk in Sino-US relations.
“If it is mishandled, it will most likely destroy our bilateral relationship,” Wang said, according to a transcript from the Chinese embassy.