After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that the United States does not support the independence of Taiwan.
“On Taiwan, I reiterated the long-standing ‘One China’ policy,” Blinken said during a press conference. “That policy has not changed. It’s guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, the Six Assurances.”
According to the Daily Mail, Blinken’s meeting with Xi marks the highest-level visit to Beijing by a United States official in almost five years. Blinken’s visit comes a week after Taiwan’s air force scrambled jet fighters in response to 10 Chinese aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
Blinken explained that the United States “does not support Taiwan independence” and opposes “any unilateral changes to the status quo” by either the Chinese government or Taiwan.
“We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross strait differences,” he said. “We remain committed to continuing our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act including making sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself…At the same time, we and many others have deep concerns about some of the provocative actions that China has taken in recent years going back to 2016.”
Blinken said that the United States and other countries are concerned about the “economic crisis” that could impact “quite literally the entire world” if a crisis occurred between Taiwan and the Chinese government. With 50% of commercial container traffic being transported through the Taiwan Strait each day and 70% of semiconductors being manufactured in Taiwan, Blinken said a Taiwan “crisis” would result in “dramatic consequences for virtually every country around the world.”
While the U.S. appears to support the “One China” policy, Blinken told reporters that challenges remain between the U.S. and China. The United States and China recently had a close encounter between an American destroyer in the Taiwan Strait and a Chinese navy ship.
“We have no illusions about the challenges of this relationship. There are many issues on which we profoundly and even vehemently disagree,” Blinken added. “The United States has a long history of successfully managing complicated relationships through diplomacy.”