U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed President Joe Biden’s remarks that the U.S and other democratic allies would intervene to help Taiwan if Communist China used force to take the island.
Responding to a question during a forum hosted by the New York Times on Wednesday, Nov. 10, Blinken said, “There are many countries, both in the region and beyond, that would see any unilateral action to use force to disrupt the status quo as a significant threat to peace and security, and they too would take action in the event that happens.”
While Blinken reiterated statements Washington has relayed in regards to ensuring Taiwan has adequate means to defend itself in the event of an attack, he also said, “At the same time, I think it’s fair to say that we’re not alone in this determination to make sure that we preserve peace and stability in that part of the world.”
Blinken’s remarks came ahead of a planned virtual meeting between Biden and People’s Republic of China (PRC) leader Xi Jinping, which could be held as soon as next week, Reuters reported. The world’s two largest economies reached an agreement to hold the meeting before year end after talks in Zurich last month.
Experts believe discussions between the two sides may entail working towards an agreement to relax visa restrictions for each other’s journalists as well as the possibility to reopen consulates in Chengdu and Houston after diplomatic disputes in 2020 resulted in the closure of these offices.
Beijing was quick to react to Blinken’s statement. During a daily briefing, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry accused Blinken of “violating international law” and said China would never allow the U.S to “interfere with its internal affairs,” regarding its issues with Taiwan.
The PRC has claimed Taiwan as a rightful part of its territory; Taiwan is officially governed as the Republic of China (ROC), a de facto independent country, which once controlled all of China before retreating to the island after its 1949 defeat in the Chinese Civil War.
Other countries, including the European Union have stepped forward in an outpouring of support for the small island. EU Delegation Representative Raphael Glucksmann told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during a public meeting on Nov. 4, “Europe is standing with you, by you, in the defense of freedom and the defense of rule of law and human dignity.”