In a recent diplomatic meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken clarified the United States’ stance on Taiwan’s independence.
“We do not support Taiwan independence,” Blinken announced in a press conference following the meeting in Beijing. This statement comes amidst a period of strained U.S.-China relations, with Taiwan being one of the key points of contention.
Blinken’s visit to Beijing aimed to thaw the frosty relations between the two superpowers. However, the Secretary of State emphasized that the U.S. remains opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. He also reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to its responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act, which includes ensuring Taiwan’s ability to defend itself.
During the meeting, Blinken expressed concerns about China’s provocative actions in the waters surrounding Taiwan. He warned that a crisis over Taiwan could lead to a global economic crisis due to the significant commercial container traffic that passes through the Taiwan Strait daily and the high percentage of semiconductors manufactured in Taiwan.
President Xi reportedly responded positively to the progress made during the meeting but also hinted at China’s grievances. “State-to-state interactions should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity,” Xi said in his opening remarks. Despite the diplomatic efforts, the U.S. was unable to achieve one of the meeting’s primary goals: persuading China to establish a crisis military-to-military communications channel.
The U.S.-China relationship has been fraught with tension over several issues, including Taiwan, China’s close ties with Russia, a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the U.S., and data security concerns with the Chinese app TikTok. These tensions have been further exacerbated by recent close encounters between U.S. and Chinese military ships and aircraft.