USA to strengthen ties with Taiwan, urges China to stop pressure

25 Janvier, 2021, 20:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US says China military pressure against Taiwan threatens peace

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has conducted nearly daily flights over the waters between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea in recent months.

In response, the US State Department issued a statement saying that it is concerned by China's "pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan".

A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote "freedom of the seas", the United States military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington.

Eight Chinese bomber planes and four fighter jets entered the south-western corner of Taiwan's air defence identification zone on Saturday, leading Taiwan's air force to deploy missiles to "monitor" the incursion. They are that the US (1) has not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, (2) has not agreed to consult with China on arms sales to Taiwan, (3) will not play a mediation role between Taipei and Beijing, (4) has not agreed to revise the Taiwan Relations Act, (5) has not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan and (6) will not exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

The announcement comes just days after Joe Biden was sworn in as United States president.

Lo Chih-Cheng, a senior lawmaker for Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party who sits on parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, told Reuters China was trying to deter the new USA government from backing the island.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier team entered the South China Sea on Sunday to exercise "freedom of the seas", and the Biden administration has said its commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid", the Reuters report said.

Yahoo News notes that the USA has pledged to continue to deepen its ties with Taiwan and ensure its defense from Chinese threats while supporting a peaceful resolution of issues between the sides.

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The statement noted that Washington's commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid" and signaled that the USA will continue to help Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities.

In another sign of support for Taiwan, the island's de-facto ambassador to Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, was an invited guest at Mr Biden's inauguration.

The large number of Chinese aircraft incursions appeared to be an early test for the new Biden administration and its commitment to supporting the island democracy that Beijing considers part of its territory.

Perhaps more importantly, Beijing wants to send a strong message early on in Joe Biden's presidency that the Taiwan issue is unsafe and remind him not to play with fire by emboldening Ms Tsai, as the Trump administration did.

Price vowed to stand with Taiwan and to even deepen ties.

In 1982, former President Ronald Reagan also made six security assurances to Taiwan, including that the United States pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to the island, and that it would neither consult Beijing on any arms sales nor revise the TRA.

China apparently wants to use the change of the U.S. government as an opportunity to improve ties.

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