Beijing on Tuesday slammed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for his recent comments on Taiwan, calling them “totally irresponsible and absurd”.
Speaking at a regular press briefing in Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning questioned Blinken’s intentions and stressed that the issue of Taiwan is an untouchable red line in US-China relations.
In an interview with The Atlantic to mark the first anniversary of the Ukraine-Russia war, Blinken was asked if the war has hastened Beijing to take military action against Taiwan.
He replied: “One of the reasons that the world is so concerned about a crisis across the Taiwan Strait is because this is not an internal matter, as China would have it, based on its sovereignty. It’s a matter of concern to quite literally the entire world.”
He went on to say: “Fifty per cent of the commercial container traffic goes through [the Taiwan] strait every day. A big majority of the semiconductors that the world needs for everything from our smartphones, our dishwashers, to our automobiles are produced on Taiwan.
“If there were a crisis in Taiwan as a result of China’s aggression in some fashion, that would have, I think, disastrous consequences for the world economy and for countries around the world. And that’s a message too that Beijing is hearing increasingly,” a transcript of the interview posted on the State Department’s website read.
But Mao dismissed Blinken’s comments and warned the US against forging closer ties or steps up defence cooperation with Taiwan.
“We call on the US side to rein back at the brink of the precipice … The US side will suffer grave consequences and pay a heavy price if it is determined to go down its wrong path,” Mao said.
– Southern China Morning Post