In a message sent this Wednesday to the summit of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the US president criticized China, denouncing “aggressive” actions in the Taiwan Strait. For weeks, tensions have increased in this coveted area of the globe.
Actions that “Threaten regional peace and stability”. This is how US President Joe Biden described the operations carried out by China in the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. During a video conference on the occasion of the summit of countries of the Asia-Pacific region, which also attended by Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier. Speaking by video link, President Biden stressed that the United States was “Deeply concerned about the coercive and aggressive actions of China … in the Taiwan Strait”, which separates mainland China from Taiwan. The US president also targeted Beijing’s maritime ambitions on Wednesday, stressing that the United States was “Fully engaged“In defense of “Freedom of navigation, open waterways, unimpeded commercial traffic, including in the South China Sea”. Faced with threats from Beijing, the United States, the island’s leading arms supplier, are continuing training activities for the Taiwanese army and strengthening their commitment to the administration of Tsai Ing-wen.
The East Asia summit, which is being held in virtual form this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, brings together 18 countries from the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to the Chinese Premier, the summit was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of South Korea and Japan. The issue around Taiwan was at the heart of the discussions: in recent weeks, tensions have increased in this area with the increase in Chinese air incursions near Taiwan. Beijing also considers Taiwan as a province to be reunited with China and if necessary by force. The South China Sea and its islands are the subject of competing claims from China and several Southeast Asian countries. Another subject on the table: Burma, a country in crisis since the seizure of power by the military junta in February. In this regard, the American president recalled that the United States “Stand alongside the people of Burma and call on the military regime to end the violence, release all political prisoners and return to the path of democracy”.
This is not the first time that Biden has mentioned the particularly tense situation in this region of Asia. Last week, the Democratic president said on television that the United States was ready to defend the island in the event of an attack from China. And on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken followed suit by calling for a “Meaningful participation” of Taiwan within the United Nations institutions, triggering a controversy with China. “Taiwan has no right to participate in the UN”, retorted the next day in Beijing the spokesperson for the Taiwanese Affairs Bureau, Ma Xiaoguang. He recalled that only sovereign states can join.