US to take ‘calm & resolute’ steps to support Taiwan amidst China’s intimidation: White House
Washington: China’s actions to “intimidate and coerce” Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei are fundamentally at odds with the goal of peace and stability, the White House has said, asserting that the US would take “calm and resolute” steps to support the self-ruled island.
China’s ruling Communist party has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan. Beijing insists its “one-China principle” would bar most incumbent foreign government officials from setting foot on the island.
The People’s Liberation Army announced war games in the busy Taiwan Strait from August 4 to 7, the day after Pelosi, who is the highest-ranking US leader to have visited Taiwan in 25 years, left Taipei after high-level meetings.
Later, the Chinese military extended the war games, surrounding Taiwan, which Beijing views as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
China on Wednesday warned that Beijing will organise regular combat patrols as a new normal to enforce its one-China policy.
“China’s actions are fundamentally at odds with the goal of peace and stability. They are part of an intensified pressure campaign against Taiwan, which has not ended, and we expect it to continue to unfold in the coming weeks and months,” Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Indo Pacific, told reporters during a conference call.
“The goal of this campaign is clear — to intimidate and coerce Taiwan and undermine its resilience,” he said.
The US, he said, will “continue to take calm and resolute steps to uphold peace and stability in the face of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to undermine it,” and to support Taiwan, in line with its longstanding policy.
“These steps, across a range of areas, will unfold over the coming weeks and months because the challenge is long-term. We will not be reflexive or knee-jerk, we will be patient and effective,” Campbell said.
America, he said, will continue to fly, sail and operate where international law allows, consistent with its longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation, and that includes conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.
“We will continue to fulfil our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act. That includes supporting Taiwan’s self-defence and maintaining our own capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardise Taiwan’s security, economy or society,” Campbell said.
Referring to the Chinese decision to suspend climate change talks with the US and close other channels of communications, Campbell called on Beijing to reopen those channels.
There are a large number of countries that are keenly interested in preserving that peace and stability, he said in response to a question, adding, “I will leave it at that, in terms of our consultations and engagements with those partners, specifically.”
“The Taiwan Relations Act requires us to provide appropriate defensive articles and capabilities to Taiwan. And those articles are designed to most effectively engage on those defence issues that are related to the evolving security circumstances that Taiwan faces,” Campbell noted.