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18 Oct, 2022 09:24

Blinken makes new Taiwan invasion claim

The US secretary of state says Beijing wants to seize the island “on a much faster timeline”
Blinken makes new Taiwan invasion claim

Beijing has decided to capture Taiwan much faster than previously thought and may use force to do so, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said. Beijing views the self-governing island as an integral part of China and opposes any form of diplomatic and military assistance to the government in Taipei.

“Instead of sticking with the status quo that was established in a positive way, [Beijing has made] a fundamental decision that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and Beijing is determined to pursue reunification on a much faster timeline,” Blinken said at Stanford University in California on Monday.

“If peaceful means didn’t work then would employ coercive means, and possibly if coercive means don’t work then maybe forceful means to achieve its objective. That is what is profoundly disrupting the status quo and creating tremendous tensions.”

Blinken warned that an attack on Taiwan, a major semiconductor producer, would hurt the global economy. “The amount of commercial traffic that goes through the [Taiwan] Strait every single day and has an impact on economies around the world is enormous. If that were to be disrupted as a result of a crisis, countries around the world would suffer.” 

He added that the US will continue to support Taipei’s ability to defend itself, while remaining “fundamentally” committed to the One-China policy, which means that Washington will not formally recognize the island as an independent nation. He also urged Beijing to resolve its differences with Taipei peacefully.

Speaking at the meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party on Sunday, President Xi Jinping said that Beijing will seek peaceful reunification, but reserves the right to use force if necessary. “This is directed solely at the interference by outside forces and the few separatists seeking Taiwan’s independence and their separatist activities,” Xi said, as quoted by newspaper Global Times. 

Beijing accused Washington of violating the One-China policy after House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, becoming the highest-ranking US official to do so since the 1990s. Beijing responded to the trip by launching large-scale military drills around the island. The US condemned the move as escalatory.