White House Says US Will Continue to Defend Taiwan from Chinese Threats

White House Says US Will Continue to Defend Taiwan from Chinese Threats
US House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi in White House

Washington - The Joe Biden administration reiterated its support for Taiwan to defend itself in response to what it called increasingly provocative actions by China against the self-governing island.

Kurt Campbell, the White House's top aide for the Indo-Pacific, said the White House would seek deeper ties with Taiwan in the face of what he called China's potentially destabilizing military activity nearby.

The remarks come as Beijing remains angry over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan, which China views as part of its territory. Chinese troops last month began a series of extensive military exercises near the Taiwan Strait that began after Pelosi left Taipei after meeting Taiwanese officials along with other US lawmakers.

Taiwan's Ministry of Defense reported a record number of Chinese naval aircraft and ships in the sea and surrounding airspace with military jets flying more than 300 sorties around the island.

"China has overreacted, and its actions continue to be provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented," Campbell said. “China launched missiles into the waters around Taiwan. China declared an exclusion zone around Taiwan that interferes with civil, air and maritime traffic," he added as quoted by Newsweek, Saturday (13/8/2022).

Campbell said China was ignoring the long-standing median line separating Taiwan from China. In response, he said President Joe Biden directed the USS Ronald Reagan to remain stationed in the Philippine Sea, east of Taiwan.

The US has had a complicated relationship with Taiwan since President Richard Nixon reestablished ties with Communist-led China. Since the rapprochement with Beijing, the US has recognized "one China." At the same time, the US has maintained unofficial ties with Taiwan, while not officially accepting China's claim to the island.

Campbell said the United States remained committed to its "one China" policy while continuing to fulfill its obligations set out in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which he said included supporting the island's self-defense. "We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from both sides, and we do not support Taiwan independence, and we hope cross-Strait differences are resolved by peaceful means," he said.

In the coming days, Campbell said the White House would launch an "ambitious roadmap for trade negotiations" with Taiwan. Consistent with the one China America policy, the Biden administration will deepen ties with Taiwan including through continuing to advance economic and trade ties.

The US Congress is currently considering the 2022 Taiwan Policy Act, which would increase defense assistance to the island. Chinese officials have denounced the bill as a violation of its sovereignty. The Chinese government this week released a major policy paper arguing vigorously for Taiwan to be brought under mainland control, hinting that force may be needed to bring the island down.

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