Blinken reiterates importance of cross-Taiwan Strait stability

01/21/2023 01:38 PM
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United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Image source: facebook.com/statedept
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Image source: facebook.com/statedept

Washington, Jan. 20 (CNA) United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday reiterated the importance of cross Taiwan-Strait stability, but expressed concern that Beijing no longer seems comfortable with the status quo.

The Taiwan-China status quo is vital to maintaining peace and stability and has "actually been successful in terms of the relationship between our countries in managing what is a difficult situation," Blinken said in a moderated conversation at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

But China apparently has made a decision that the status quo was no longer acceptable and has been seen in recent years ratcheting up the pressure on Taiwan, he said.

The pressure included not only military and economic coercion, but also efforts seeking to cut off Taiwan's ties to countries around the world and to international organizations, said Blinken, who is to visit Beijing next month.

The cross-strait issue is considered a sovereignty issue for Beijing, Blinken said, but from Washington's perspective it "is an interest to the United States and to countries around the world."

Any disruption of the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait would be a disaster to the world economy, he said, noting that 50 percent of container ships operating around the world go through the Taiwan Strait and 70 percent of higher-end computer chips are manufactured in Taiwan.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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