strengthened commercial links and air and naval support in the strait

Yesterday, Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific, delivered a harsh criticism of China’s behavior after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the independent island but which has always been strongly claimed by Beijing. According to this senior American official, Beijingi would have “overreacted” to the visit of the number three of the Biden administration.

As a result, and in response to China’s “provocative” actions (massive aerial incursions and missile launches into Taiwanese and even Japanese waters…), Washington will not only consolidate its commercial ties with Taiwan but also strengthen its military presence by making new air and sea crossings in the strait.

While announcing the unveiling, “in the coming days”, of an “ambitious roadmap”, this adviser to Joe Biden claimed that Beijing had used the recent controversial visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in an attempt to upset the status quo regarding the situation on the island.

According to Washington, China has found an excuse to try to change the status quo

However, according to him, this visit was “consistent” with Washington’s policy, and China “overreacted”, he estimated, judging that Beijing got carried away after the visit to Taiwan, last week, of Nancy Pelosi, launching multi-day military air and sea exercises around the island.

Beijing used this pretext to “launch a pressure campaign against Taiwan to change the status quo, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

China stocks “continue to be provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented”, said Kurt Campbell.

The United States is strengthening

In response, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to the region. Kurt Campbell said the Biden administration “would continue to strengthen (its) ties with Taiwan, including continuing to advance our economic and trade relations.”

In addition, the protection of the island will continue to be a priority: American ships and planes will make new passages in the Taiwan Strait “in the next weeks”added Kurt Campbell.

American forces “will continue to fly, sail or operate wherever international law permits”he continued, without specifying the nature of the deployments carried out in the strait or their schedule.

“Sincere thanks” from the Taiwanese foreign minister

Criticizing China’s decision to end its climate cooperation with the United States, the senior official said Washington continued to keep communication channels “open” with Beijing.

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The Taiwanese government welcomed the US announcements.

In a statement, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry expressed its “sincere thanks” for its “concrete actions to maintain security in the Taiwan Strait and peace in the region”.

China keeps island ‘under high pressure’

However, China still seems to keep the island under high pressure. On Thursday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said China’s threat of force had not diminished, even though Beijing’s largest-ever military exercises around the island after Ms. Pelosi last week seemed to be easing.

But for Kurt Campbell, this “intensified pressure campaign” against Taiwan “is not over and we expect it to continue in the weeks and months to come”, he said last night.

As a reminder, Chinese and Taiwanese warships played “cat and mouse” on the high seas last Sunday, ahead of the scheduled end of four days of unprecedented Chinese military exercises, launched in response to a visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

But China did not announce an end to the drills on Sunday, and Taiwan said it was unable to verify whether China had stopped them as planned.

(with AFP and Archyde.com)

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