The US secretary of state says cutting off China’s cooperation in key areas would punish the world, not just Washington.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of “irresponsible measures” in cutting off key communication channels with Washington, saying Beijing’s retaliatory actions towards Taiwan it showed that China had moved from prioritizing peaceful resolutions to the use of force.
Blinken’s comments on Saturday came as Chinese military planes and warships continued to simulate an attack on Taiwan, officials in Taipei said, as part of a series of measures taken by Beijing after a visit to the democracy island of the president of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi earlier this week.
China’s retaliation by halting bilateral processes in eight key areas, including defense, narcotics control, transnational crime and climate change, were moves that would punish the world, not just the United States, Blinken told a conference in press in Manila.
“Those include various military-to-military channels, which are vital to avoiding miscommunication and avoiding crises,” Blinken said.
“Suspending climate cooperation doesn’t punish the United States, it punishes the world, particularly the developing world. We should not hold cooperation on matters of global concern hostage because of the differences between our two countries,” he said.
Addressing climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers that are also the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Blinken said the United States had heard concerns from allies about what he called dangerous and destabilizing actions by China around Taiwan in recent days, but that Washington would stand firm in its handling of the situation.
The state secretary also said he had conveyed to the Chinese foreign minister that the United States was determined to keep communication channels open to avoid miscalculations.
“Let me be clear, the United States does not believe that Taiwan, the region, or our own national security has an interest in escalating the situation,” he said.
“We will keep our channels of communication with China open, with the intention of avoiding escalation due to misunderstanding or miscommunication.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday accused Blinken of “talking lies” about China.
“We want to issue a warning to the United States: don’t act rashly, don’t create a bigger crisis,” Wang said.