- TIME - IAIN MARLOW AND REBECCA CHOONG WILKINGS - AUG 17, 2022 -
China called on the U.S. to refrain from sailing naval vessels through the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing would take further action in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.
China’s ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, said Tuesday that China viewed such Taiwan transits as an escalation by the U.S. and an effort to support the “separatist” government in Taipei. He delivered the warning after Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrapped up the second trip to the island in less than two weeks by a U.S. congressional delegation.
“The US side has done too much and going too far in this region,” Qin said in response to a question about potential naval patrols. “I do call on our American colleagues to refrain, to exercise restraint, not to do anything to escalate the tension. So if there’s any moves damaging China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, so China will respond. China will respond.”
The Biden administration has said it would conduct air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait after China responded to Pelosi’s trip with a series of military drills around the island, including likely firing ballistic missiles over Taipei. The U.S. has long held that such transits, like congressional visits, are consistent with its “one China” policy not to formally recognize the democratically elected government in Taipei.
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