The US secretary of state says ending China’s cooperation in key areas will punish the world, not just Washington.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused China of “irresponsible steps” by shutting down key communication channels with Washington and said Beijing’s retaliation against Taiwan showed that China has shifted from prioritizing peaceful solutions to the use of force.
Blinken’s comments on Saturday came as Chinese warplanes and warships continued to simulate an attack on Taiwan, officials in Taipei said, as part of a series of steps taken by Beijing after a visit to the island democracy by the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi earlier this week.
China’s retaliation in suspending bilateral processes in eight key areas, including defense, drug control, transnational crime and climate change, are moves that will punish the world, not just the United States, Blinken told a news conference in Manila.
“They include several channels between the military that are vital to avoid miscommunication and avoid a crisis,” Blinken said.
“Ending climate cooperation does not hurt the United States, it hurts the world, especially the developing world. We should not hold cooperation on issues of global importance hostage because of the differences between our two countries,” he said.
Tackling climate change is a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers, which are both the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Blinken said the US had heard concerns from allies about what he called China’s dangerous and destabilizing actions around Taiwan in recent days, but Washington would remain firm in its handling of the situation.
The secretary of state also said he conveyed to China’s foreign minister that the US is determined to keep communication channels open to prevent any miscalculations.
“So let me be clear, the United States does not believe it is in the interests of Taiwan, the region, or our own national security to escalate the situation,” he said.
“We will keep our channels of communication with China open, with the intention of avoiding escalation due to misunderstanding or misunderstanding.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday accused Blinken of “falsely speaking” about China.
“We want to issue a warning to the United States: don’t act hastily, don’t create a bigger crisis,” Wang said.