BEIJING (AP) – China said on Friday there was “no room” for compromise or concessions on the Taiwan issue, following a comment by US President Joe Biden that states – United pledge to defend the island if it is attacked.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reaffirmed China’s long-held claim that the island is its territory in a daily briefing after Biden made his comment the day before at a forum hosted by CNN.
China recently increased its threat to bring Taiwan under its much-needed force by flying warplanes near the island and repeating beach landings.
“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other fundamental interests, there is no room for China to make compromises or concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong determination, steadfast will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, ”Wang said.
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. The Taiwan question is purely an internal Chinese affair that does not allow any foreign intervention, ”Wang said.
Biden’s comments on Thursday were seen as stretching “the strategic ambiguity” that Washington has maintained over how it would respond to an attack on the autonomous island republic.
The United States should “be careful in its words and actions on the Taiwan question, and not send the wrong signals to the Taiwan independence separatist forces, so as not to seriously damage Sino-American relations, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait ”. Wang said.
In his comments, Biden said the United States did not want a new Cold War, but expressed concern that China “was going to engage in activities that would put them in a position where they were could make a serious mistake ”.
“I just want to make China understand that we are not going to back down, we are not going to change any of our views. Biden said. When asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan if it was attacked, he replied, “Yes, we have made a commitment to do so. “
Asked on Friday whether the United States would defend Taiwan if the island was attacked by China, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a reporter he would not discuss hypothetical situations, but also declared: not President Biden, and there is no reason that it should be. Speaking in Brussels after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Austin added that Washington remains committed to its long-standing “one-China” policy.
In Taipei, a spokesperson for pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen said the United States had shown its support for Taiwan through concrete actions and that the 23 million citizens of the island would not give in to pressure or not. would not act recklessly.
“Taiwan will demonstrate our strong determination to stand up for ourselves and continue to work with countries with similar values to make a positive contribution to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region,” the door said. – spoken by Chang Tun-han.
China and Taiwan separated in a civil war in 1949. The United States severed formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 in order to recognize Beijing. The United States does not openly contest China’s claim to Taiwan, but has committed itself by law to ensuring that the island can defend itself and to treat all threats against it as matters of “serious concern.”
Under President Xi Jinping, who is also leader of the Communist Party and head of the armed forces, China has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. During its national holiday weekend earlier this month, China sent a record 149 military planes to southwest Taiwan in strike group formations, prompting Taiwan to jam the planes and activate its systems. of air defense missiles.
China also recently held beach landing exercises on its approximately 160-kilometer (100-mile) wide side of the Taiwan Strait which, like the aircraft incursions, have been described as a warning to the administration of Tsai.
The United States has stepped up its support for Taiwan with military sales. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this month that US support for Taiwan was “rock solid.” The United States has “also been very clear about our commitment to deepen our ties with Taiwan,” Price said.
Biden’s choice for Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns on Wednesday told lawmakers considering his appointment that Americans should “have confidence in our strength” in the face of the rise of China, a nation he said the United States and its allies could manage.
Burns echoed the Biden administration’s stance to cooperate with China wherever possible, but condemned many of its actions, including its policies towards Taiwan and the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, where it virtually eliminated dissenting voices through strict legislation and arrests.