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Biden administration puts pressure on China to halt military drills near Taiwan

The Biden administration said Saturday that U.S. officials are “deeply concerned” about the extensive military drills in the Taiwan Strait, putting pressure on China to “act with restraint.”

“The United States is deeply concerned over the People’s Liberation Army joint military drills in the Taiwan Strait and around Taiwan,” a Saturday statement from State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller reads. “We are monitoring [People’s Republic of China] activities closely and coordinating with allies and partners regarding our shared concerns.”

“We strongly urge Beijing to act with restraint,” Miller continued. “Using a normal, routine, and democratic transition as an excuse for military provocations risks escalation and erodes longstanding norms that for decades have maintained peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which is critical for regional and global security and prosperity and a matter of international concern.”

China started new military exercises near Taiwan only a few days after it swore in its new pro-U.S. leader.

Beijing, which accused President William Lai Ching-te of heightening tensions in his inaugural address, ran the drills — code-named Joint Sword 2024A — from Thursday until Friday, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua.

While the U.S. has been seen as a major ally to Taiwan, it does not recognize the island as a separate state from the mainland. President Biden and the White House have emphasized their commitment to the One China policy.

“The United States remains committed to its longstanding one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiqués, and the Six Assurances,” Miller continued in the statement.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said earlier this week that the exercises were “jeopardizing peace and stability.”

“We seek no conflicts, but we will not shy away from one. We have the confidence to safeguard our national security,” the ministry wrote on social media platform X.

In his inauguration speech, Lai Ching-te said Taiwan “is a sovereign, independent nation in which sovereignty lies in the hands of the people.”

“The future of cross-strait relations will have a decisive impact on the world,” he added. “This means that we, who have inherited a democratic Taiwan, are pilots for peace. Our government will uphold the Four Commitments, neither yield nor provoke, and maintain the status quo.”

Source: The Hill

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