China’s ambassador warns US of Taiwan consequences in rare briefing

Beijing’s ambassador to the United States warned on Tuesday that China would view increased US arms sales and official travel to Taiwan or naval activity near the autonomous island as provocations that would further destabilize and prevent progress on other issues.

why does it matter: Ambassador Chen Gang said that if Washington did not “exercise restraint” in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, there would be “another round of tensions” — and no dialogue on issues such as climate change and nuclear security.

playing condition: China held a week-long military exercise after Pelosi’s trip earlier this month. It seemed to be a rehearsal for Taiwan’s subjugation and included new aggressive steps, such as ignoring the middle line between Taiwan and the mainland.

  • After Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) led another delegation to Taipei on Sunday, China launched a new batch of exercises on a smaller scale.
  • The The White House argues That China is using Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to change the status quo and “intimidate and coerce Taiwan.”
  • Chen cited his frantic efforts to block the visit – using “every channel possible,” he said – as evidence that China had no desire for such an excuse.

Still, both sides admit Tensions over Taiwan are seriously escalating and poisoning the broader relationship.

  • Chen said One China principle – which affirms that there is only one Chinese state and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China – should be the basis of all US-China relations.
  • Without that “foundation,” he said, talks like the one proposed by President Biden on nuclear security cannot move forward.
  • long-term US policy It is to recognize China’s claims on Taiwan, but not accept them or support Taiwan independence.
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Scene mode: Speaking to a small group of reporters in Washington, Chen spoke solemnly for 80 minutes, answering questions about a range of sensitive issues — a rarity for senior Chinese officials.

  • He rarely strayed from a set of talking points — which in the case of Taiwan were strikingly hawkish — but acknowledged that Beijing had work to do to improve its image both in Taiwan and the United States, where he said “China fear” was prevalent.

What’s Next: The United States plans to send warships through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks and approve additional arms sales to Taiwan.

  • These steps would be consistent with the practices of previous administrations, but Chen cautioned that China would see them as an escalation of tensions and “will have to respond.”

what do you want to watch: Qin reiterated that Taiwan should be reunified with mainland China, but said he had found that recent reports The timeline for a potential invasion is growing shorter to be “unfounded”.

  • Chen said unification would happen peacefully if possible and by force if necessary, although he said Beijing only made the last option to deter “separatism” in Taiwan or “foreign interference”.
  • Qin said Taiwan can remain a democracy under the “one country, two systems” principle. But he also claimed One Country, Two Systems was alive and well in Hong Kong, despite Beijing’s reassertion of direct control there. He also explained whose system would take precedence after reunification: “If there is not one state, there can be no two systems.”
  • Asked about a comment by China’s ambassador to France that China will continue to “re-educate” Taiwan after reunification, Qin said Beijing should “strengthen our efforts.” [shared] National Identity.”
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not worth anything Chen dismissed the idea that Biden — who has said publicly that the US military felt Pelosi’s visit was “not a good idea” — did not sanction Pelosi’s visit.

  • He argued that the administration “absorbed” the trip, and that Congress “is not an independent, uncontrollable branch, according to international law” (although, of course, under the US Constitution).

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