US Secretary of State says the Biden administration is concerned about China’s “increasingly aggressive actions” against Taiwan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is concerned about China’s “increasingly aggressive actions” against Taiwan and remains committed to peace and stability in the western Pacific.
Blinken said on Sunday that the Biden government is working to ensure that Taiwan “has the ability to defend itself.”
“What we have seen, and what really worries us, are increasingly aggressive measures by the Beijing government against Taiwan,” Blinken said during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press program.
“It would be a grave mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force.”
He declined to comment when asked if the US would consider military action against China.
Blinken’s comments come days after the US warned China of what Taiwan, which Beijing regards as part of China, and the Philippines described as increasingly aggressive Chinese naval and air exercises.
Manila has criticized Beijing for sending so-called “maritime militia” ships to a wide area within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, while Taiwan said Chinese planes had flown into the island’s air defense area.
Chinese airline Liaoning also held a naval exercise near Taiwan on Monday, and Beijing said such exercises will be a regular occurrence.
Beijing has blamed Washington for mounting tensions after tracking the destroyer of the USS John McCain across the strait last week.
US President Joe Biden has continued to take a tough line against Beijing on several issues, including the Chinese government’s treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority in the western region of Xinjiang, which the Biden government has termed “genocide.”
US and Chinese officials exchanged reprimands last month during the first high-level meeting between the two governments since Biden took office in January.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the US State Department announced that it would lift the rules to make it easier for US government officials to meet with Taiwanese officials.
The updated guidelines were produced in response to an act by Congress that required a review.
“These new guidelines liberalize the guidelines for contacts with Taiwan in line with our informal relations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Price also said the guidelines “would create clarity for the entire executive branch on the effective implementation of our” One China “policy – a reference to longstanding US policy under which Washington officially recognizes Beijing, not Taipei.