Monday, March 20, 2023

Taiwan: China and Russia disrupt and threaten world order

TAIPEI, Taiwan ( Associated Press) — China and Russia are “disturbing and threatening the world order” with Beijing’s recent large-scale military exercises near Taiwan and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan’s leader said on Friday.

Speaker Tsai Ing-wen made the remarks during a meeting in Taipei with US Senator Marsha Blackburn, the second visit by members of Congress since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month. That visit prompted China to launch military exercises that included the launch of several missiles and the deployment of dozens of ships and warplanes that practically surrounded the island. Beijing’s operation crossed the midline of the Taiwan Strait, which for years was considered a security zone between the two sides.

China claims that Taiwan is part of its territory and should be brought back under its control by force if necessary. Beijing has also strengthened its ties with Russia and is seen as tacitly supporting its attack on Ukraine.

“These events show how authoritarian countries are disrupting and threatening the world order,” Tsai said.

Blackburn, a Republican senator from Tennessee, reaffirmed the values ​​shared by the two governments, saying he “looks forward to continuing to support Taiwan as it moves forward as an independent nation.”

China sees these high-profile visits to the island as interference in its affairs and de facto recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty. His latest maneuver was perceived by some as a rehearsal for future military action against the region, something that US military officials say could happen in the coming years.

In addition to the exercises, Beijing has cut off contact with Washington on key issues including military issues and climate cooperation, raising concerns that Chinese officials will take a more sustainable and aggressive approach. He also summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to file a formal complaint. The diplomat later indicated that China was exaggerating to create a crisis.

The separation of powers in the US government leaves the executive powerless to prevent lawmakers from making such trips abroad, and Taiwan enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington. China, where the ruling Communist Party exercises complete control over the country’s politics, refuses to accept that fundamental principle.

State Department spokesman Vedanta Patel said members of Congress and elected officials “have been visiting Taiwan for decades and will continue to do so,” adding that they follow the US policy of maintaining only formal diplomatic relations with Beijing.

For his part, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters on Friday that “China’s motivation is to destroy the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and then to reduce Taiwan’s defensive position.”

Taiwan wants more defense cooperation and additional weapons from Washington, as well as closer economic ties.

At their meeting, Tsai and Blackburn highlighted the importance of economic ties, particularly in the semiconductor sector, where Taiwan is a world leader and the United States seeks to expand investments in their country.

Following the visit of Pelosi, who was the highest-ranking member of the government in 25 years, a delegation of deputies and senators traveled to the island. The governor of Indiana was there this week with an agenda focused on business and academic cooperation. American politicians see these actions as a show of support for Taiwan.

Washington does not maintain official diplomatic relations with Taipei in honor of China, but remains the main guarantor of the island’s security. US law provides that it must ensure Taiwan has the means to defend itself and considers threats to the region “a matter of grave concern”.

Taiwan and China separated after a civil war in 1949 and are officially unrelated, although they are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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