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Antony Blinken stresses diplomacy in dealing with China over Taiwan

Antony Blinken stresses diplomacy in dealing with China over Taiwan
Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 27, 2022. Blinken said Thursday the United States supports the One China policy in its relationship with Taiwan. File Photo by Michael A. McCoy/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to definitively squash concerns over possible military involvement by the United States on behalf of Taiwan on Thursday, saying in a major speech on China that the administration is committed to the One China policy and to diplomacy in the region.

In the speech at George Washington University, Blinken said it did not support Taiwan's independence and opposed unilateral changes over the status quo by the United States and China.

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While in South Korea, President Joe Biden said Monday the United States would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China, creating a sharp rebuke from Beijing and sparking concerns about a change in U.S. policy.

Biden has since downplayed possible U.S. military action and Blinken on Thursday tried to settle the matter.

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"We expect differences to be resolved by peaceful means," Blinken said. "We continue to have an abiding interest in the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and will continue to uphold our commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and assist Taiwan and maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities."

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Blinken went on to criticize China, charging the communist country with actions that are destabilizing the region.

"Beijing has engaged in increasing provocative rhetoric and activities like flying [military] aircraft near Taiwan on an almost daily basis," Blinken said. "These words and actions are deeply destabilizing. They risk miscalculation and threaten the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait."

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Blinken also rejected China's assertion that its dealings with Taiwan are internal and should not be scrutinized by the United States and other countries. He said peace in the Taiwan Strait is an international issue that aligns with the interests of the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific.

"It's not just in the United States interest but it's a matter of international concern, critical to regional and global security and prosperity," Blinken said.

He added that the United States wants to continue diplomatic efforts with China over a host of issues despite their disagreements because the world is depending on the globe's two largest economies working together.

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"We remain committed to intense diplomacy along with intense competition," Blinken said. "We can't let the disagreements that divide us stop us from moving forward to priorities that demand we work together for the good of our people and world."

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