China has accused the United States of sending “very wrong and dangerous signals” to Taiwan after the US Secretary of State told his Chinese counterpart on Friday that maintaining peace and stability in Taiwan was a challenge. of vital importance.
Taiwan was at the center of the 90-minute “direct and honest” talks between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said a US official. journalists.
“For our part, the Secretary has made it clear that – in line with our long-standing one-China policy, which again has not changed – the maintenance of peace and stability across the Strait is absolutely , of vital importance,” the senior US administration official said. the official said.
China’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement on the meeting, said the United States was sending “very wrong and dangerous signals” to Taiwan, and that the more rampant Taiwan’s independence activity was, the less there would be. chance of a peaceful settlement.
“The Taiwan issue is an internal Chinese affair, and the United States has no right to interfere in the method that will be used to resolve it,” the ministry quoted Wang as saying.
Tensions over Taiwan skyrocketed after an August visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – which was followed by large-scale Chinese military exercises – as well as an engagement by the US President, Joe Biden, to defend himself. -governed island.
Biden’s statement was his most explicit yet on committing US troops to defend the island. It was also the latest instance where he seemed to move beyond a longstanding US policy of “strategic ambiguity,” which does not specify whether the United States would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.
The White House insisted its Taiwan policy had not changed, but China said Biden’s remarks sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan.
In a phone call with Biden in July, Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned of Taiwan, saying “those who play with fire will perish.”
The State Department had earlier said Blinken’s meeting with Wang was part of a U.S. effort to “maintain open lines of communication and manage competition responsibly,” and the senior official said Blinken reiterated the openness of the United States to “cooperate with China on issues of global concern”. ”.
Blinken also “highlighted the implications” if China were to provide material support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or engage in full sanctions evasion, the official added.
In the past, US officials have said they have seen no evidence of China providing such support.
Blinken “stressed that the United States, China and the international community have an obligation to work to counter the effects of this invasion and also to deter Russia from taking further provocative actions,” the official said.
China considers Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out using force to do so.
Taiwan’s government strongly opposes China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry, responding to Blinken’s meeting with Wang, said China’s “recent provocative actions” had made the Taiwan Strait a center of discussion, and that China was trying to “confuse the audience international community with arguments and criticisms that contradict reality”.
Blinken’s meeting with Wang was preceded by a meeting between the Quad Group foreign ministers of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, who issued a statement, referring to Indo -Pacific, saying that “we strongly oppose any unilateral action aimed at changing the status quo or increasing tensions in the region”.
Since Pelosi’s visit, “China has taken a number of provocative steps that have purposefully acted to change the status quo,” the US official said.
US Vice President Kamala Harris will discuss Taiwan security in bilateral meetings with leaders of US allies Japan and South Korea during her visit next week, another US official said.
Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for Asia under President Barack Obama, said the fact that Blinken and Wang met was important after the turmoil caused by Pelosi’s visit, and I hope progress would have been made to arrange a meeting between Xi and Biden on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in November, which would be their first face-to-face meeting as leaders.
“Wang and Blinken’s decision to meet in New York does not guarantee that the November summit will go smoothly or even take place,” said Russel, now a member of the Asia Society. “But if they hadn’t been able to meet, that would have meant the prospects for a summit in November were poor.”