US comments on possibility of China attacking Taiwan
The United States will take “every step” to ensure that China will never invade Taiwan, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday.
Speaking at the Economic Club conference in Washington, Sullivan suggested that Beijing is “carefully looking” now at the events in Ukraine following the launch of Russia’s military offensive in February, “to learn lessons writ large, including with respect to Taiwan.”
Stressing that “the situation with Ukraine and the situation with Taiwan is not the same,” Sullivan nevertheless underlined that, over the last few weeks, US officials have been telling its allies and partners that “this kind of thing can happen in Europe, this kind of thing can also happen in the Indo-Pacific.”
“And it’s incumbent upon responsible countries in the world to send a clear message that any type of aggression is unacceptable, wherever it happens,” the White House security adviser said.
When asked where the US government would stand if China invades Taiwan, Sullivan responded: “Our official government policy is that we are going to take every step we possibly can to ensure it never happens.”
Since 1949, Taiwan has de facto been independent from mainland China, which, however, has always considered the island to be part of its territory and views it as a breakaway province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined earlier that China would not stop short of using force against Taiwan if the 25-million-strong island tries to cut ties with Beijing. However, a peaceful solution apparently remains preferable for Chinese authorities.
Despite recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate authority in China since 1979, the US is keeping strong unofficial ties with the island and supports it militarily. At present, a delegation of US lawmakers is visiting Taipei, much to the annoyance of Beijing.