U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a Reuters Next conference on Friday that Chinese leaders should reconsider their actions toward Taiwan, warning of “dire consequences” if China creates a crisis across the Taiwan Strait.
In the interview, Blinken addressed a number of foreign policy challenges facing US President Joe Biden’s officials, including the fragile efforts to fix Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, the formation of Russian troops near Ukraine and the ongoing tensions in Ethiopia.
The worst case scenario could be China’s aggressive state of affairs towards Taiwan.
National Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said China’s tensions had worsened for more than 40 years, adding that China would be able to step up its “full” attack by 2025.
Asked if China would ever invade Taiwan, Blinken said “that would be a potentially catastrophic decision.”
China has been trying to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait over the past few years by engaging in provocative military actions and trying to isolate Taiwan from the rest of the world, Blinken said.
“I hope the Chinese leaders have given more thought to this and not to hold a crisis that could have serious consequences for many people and that is not in the best interests of the people,” said Blinken.
Speaking about whether the US will defend Taiwan in the event of an attack, Blinken said the US remained “firmly committed” to Taiwan and also ensured that it had measures in place to defend itself.
“We have been very clear and consistently clear over the years that we are committed to ensuring that Taiwan has a defense mechanism … whether those are defense and service issues, we will continue to do good in that commitment,” Blinken said.
Blinken also praised Taiwan for its efforts to be a strong democracy, as well as for developing a strong economy and innovation, adding that Taiwan has made a significant contribution to the world.
In other news, the US and the EU on Friday in a joint statement reaffirmed their interest in stability and the “status quo” in the Strait.
The statement, issued after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Secretary-General of the European Union Stefano Sannino led the first high-level US-EU talks on Indo-Pacific in Washington, also said that “both sides have expressed similar interest in deepening cooperation with Taiwan in policy”. of one China ‘. “