Beijing responds to Blinken: if the US agreed there is only one China, it cannot talk of Taiwan ‘invasion’

  • Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says, ‘ If Taiwan is part of China, what’s the point of saying the mainland ‘invades’ Taiwan?’
  • US Secretary of State told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the US promised support for self-ruled Taiwan to build asymmetric defence capabilities

Any talk of mainland China “invading” Taiwan is invalid because the one-China policy states that “Taiwan is part of China”, the foreign ministry in Beijing has said in response to comments by the US Secretary of State.

“The United States recognised the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, and it acknowledged the Chinese nationals’ position that there is but one China, and Taiwan is part of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular press briefing on Wednesday.

He was referring to three joint communiques signed by Beijing and Washington in late 1970s and early 1980s on the Taiwan issue.

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“The US government did not challenge that position. If Taiwan is part of China, what’s the point of talking about the mainland ‘invading’ Taiwan?” Wang said.

Wang’s comment followed an apperance by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s before the Senate foreign relations committee, where he promised Washington would help Taiwan build up its asymmetric defence capabilities to deter a potential attack by the mainland.

Blinken said the current administration was “determined to make sure that [Taiwan] has all necessary means to defend itself against any potential aggression, including unilateral action by China, to disrupt the status quo that’s been in place now for many decades”.

It followed the approval of a US$95 million weapons deal to Taiwan this month, the third since Biden took office in January last year. The other two arms proposals worth US$850 million include support services for Patriot systems, 40 new M109 Howitzer systems and other vehicles, weapons, parts and services.

Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has not renounced the use of force to reunite it with the mainland.

“We deplore and strongly oppose Blinken’s stance [in support of Taiwan],” Wang said, adding that if the US reneged on commitments under the three joint communiques, it would push Taiwan into “dangerous waters” and it would pay an “unbearable cost”.

“The US shall not underestimate the strong resolve, determination and capability of the 1.4 billion Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said.

Is the US set to change policy of ambiguity on Taiwan?

Washington has long maintained strategic ambiguity on the Taiwan issue, but since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and coinciding with concerns about a possible attack by the People’s Liberation Army, there have been increasing calls to change that stance.

The Taiwan situation arose from the civil war between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang-ruled Republic of China (ROC), which was suspended in 1949 with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

In 1979, the US decided to cut formal ties with KMT-held Taipei and switched official diplomatic relations to Beijing, as Washington looked to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Besides the three joint communiques with Beijing, then-president Jimmy Carter also signed the Taiwan Relations Act, which acknowledged the one-China policy without defining whether the PRC or ROC represented “China”, but specifying that the US should supply arms to help the island defend itself.

Author: Minnie Chan, SCMP

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