The president of Taiwan said she had “faith” that The United States will defend the island against China, in a context of growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over the role of Taipei on the international scene.
“I Have Faith” That US Forces Will Help Defend Taiwansaid Tsai Ing-wen in an interview in English with the channel CNN made on Tuesday and issued on Wednesday.
The president also highlighted the “broad cooperation with the United States to increase (its) defense capacity.”, announcing for the first time that the US military is training Taiwanese forces on the island.
The United States and China have clashed in recent days over the fate of the island of 23 million people, which has its own government, currency and army, but which Beijing considers one of its provinces waiting to be reunited with the rest of the world. country.
Earlier on Wednesday, the American president, Joe Biden, noted that the United States was “deeply concerned about China’s coercive and aggressive actions … in the Taiwan Strait.”
Tensions have risen as Chinese air raids have increased near this country.
Such actions “threaten regional peace and stability,” the US president added, according to a recording of his statements obtained by AFP.
– Strategic ambiguity –
The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken also provoked the ire of Beijing by advocating on Tuesday for Taipei’s “meaningful participation” in the organs of the United Nations (UN) and on the international scene.
“The exclusion of Taiwan undermines the important work of the UN and its agencies,” he insisted, stating that the contribution of that country is necessary to address “an unprecedented number of global challenges.”
But “Taiwan has no right to participate in the UN”, Beijing immediately replied, through the spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, Ma Xiaoguang.
The sensitive Taiwan issue is likely to further fracture relations between the United States and China, which are at their lowest point in years. Last week, Biden seemed to want to send a new message of assertiveness to Beijing.
Asked about the possibility of a US military intervention to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China, the president Biden responded affirmatively: “Yes, we have a commitment in that regard.”
His statement appeared to contradict the US “strategic ambiguity” stance. Under this scheme, Washington helps Taiwan to build and strengthen its defense, but without explicitly promising that it will come to its aid in case of attack.
Biden’s comments were not well received in Beijing, and the US government clarified shortly after that it kept its policy under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act “unchanged”.
China considers Taiwan, the island to which Chang Kai-shek’s nationalists defeated on the mainland by Mao Tse Tung’s communists fled in 1949, to be a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
(With information from AFP)
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