The Chinese ambassador to Washington warned that the US and China could end up in a war over Taiwan, in sharp comments illustrating growing tensions between powers over the island’s fate.
“If the Taiwanese authorities, encouraged by the United States, continue on the path to independence, it will most likely involve China and the United States, two major countries, in a military conflict,” Qin Gang told the NRP in his first interview on a US visit. last July.
Beijing has often resented the U.S. for its stance on Taiwan, a self-governing country over which China claims sovereignty, but Chinese officials rarely speak directly about the war. While Qin warned of a possible conflict, he also said China is striving for peaceful unification.
At a virtual meeting last November, President Xi Jinping told Joe Biden that anyone who advocates Taiwan’s independence is “playing with fire.” The American president said that the two leaders must ensure that competition between the forces does not take place. “turn into conflict”.
Since Washington changed its diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, the United States has maintained a “one-China” policy that recognizes Beijing as the sole seat of government in China.
The Biden administration eased restrictions on U.S. officials’ meetings with Taiwanese counterparts and offered strong support to Taiwan as it comes under increasing pressure from China.
Qin said the Biden administration is deepening the “one China” policy and “playing the Taiwanese card to curb China.”
Zack Cooper, an expert on Asia at the American Enterprise Institute, said the Biden administration could see Chinese behavior undermining hopes for a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue.
“Both sides increasingly see the other as threatening the status quo, which is a recipe for danger in the coming years,” Cooper said.
On Sunday, the Chinese military flew 39 fighter jets and other warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) as part of an escalating campaign of pressure on the Taipei government and training for possible future military action.
US maintains policy “strategic ambiguity”Which does not say whether it will defend Taiwan from any Chinese invasion. The policy is designed to warn Taiwanese officials against declaring independence – which would almost certainly provoke a Chinese attack – and force Beijing to reconsider any military action.
The FT reported last week that The Chinese navy has established a permanent presence between southern Japan and eastern Taiwan for the first time, highlighting growing military pressure on the island.
Bonnie Glaser, an expert on China at the German Marshall Fund, said Qin’s comments did not contradict the comments of other Chinese officials who “signal their dissatisfaction with the trajectory of US-Taiwanese relations and Taiwanese policy.”
Elbridge Colby, a former senior Pentagon official, said it was “a pretty significant signal that the new Beijing ambassador chose his first sit-down interview to issue a stern warning about Taiwan, and stressed Beijing’s willingness to use force.”
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