China warns US against 'dangerous moves' on Taiwan

In a 90-minute phone call with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said on Thursday that Washington needs to “stop erroneous words and deeds”...

Istanbul, Jale Akbar, İnteraz - 07 August 2020, 13:05

China has warned the United States against taking “dangerous moves," on Taiwan after Washington announced it was sending a senior official on a diplomatic visit to the self-ruled island.

 

In a 90-minute phone call with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said on Thursday that Washington needs to “stop erroneous words and deeds.”

 

He called on Washington to “avoid taking dangerous moves that may escalate the situation,” in Taiwan and the South China Sea.

 

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced on Wednesday that Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar will be leading a delegation to Taiwan on an upcoming visit to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

 

China, which has sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, was angered by the announcement.

 

Under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries recognize Beijing's sovereignty.

 

The US also recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to counter Beijing.

 

Tsai, however, welcomed the US diplomat’s trip to Taiwan as “another testament to the strong Taiwan-US partnership.”

 

Washington, which has no formal diplomatic relations with Taipei by law, is the island’s largest weapons supplier and an avid backer of Taiwan’s secessionist president Tsai, causing increasing tensions with Beijing over trade and a host of other issues.

 

Esper, for his part, once again accused Beijing of conducting "destabilizing" activity near Taiwan and the South China Sea.

 

"Secretary Esper also communicated the importance that the PRC (People's Republic of China) abide by international laws, rules and norms and meet its international commitments," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

 

Beijing claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea and has repeatedly warned the US against its military activities in the sea, saying that potential close military encounters by the air and naval forces of the two countries in the region could easily trigger accidents.

 

The United States, which sides with Beijing’s rival claimants in the maritime dispute, however, continues sending warships and warplanes to the South China Sea to assert what it calls its right to “freedom of navigation,” ratcheting up tensions with China.

 

A separate Pentagon statement said on Thursday that both sides agreed on "developing the systems necessary for crisis communications and risk reduction.”

 

The high-level talks took place amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over a series of issues, including trade, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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