According to Austin, China is one of the key partners for the United States and Washington does not seek confrontation or conflict, despite the aggravation around Taiwan
The United States is not looking for confrontation or a new cold war, and does not plan to create a NATO analogue in the Indo-Pacific region. About this at the annual security conference “Shangri-La Dialogue” said US Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, Reuters reports.
“We do not seek confrontation or conflict. And we are not looking for a new cold war, an Asian analogue of NATO, or a region split into hostile blocs,— he said.
The United States will do everything possible to manage tensions with China and prevent potential conflict, he said. “We intend to maintain the status quo, which has already brought many benefits to the region. We are committed to our long-standing one China policy, but we are against unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, we do not support Taiwan independence,— Austin said, noting that China's own policy is changing.
In turn, the representative of the Ministry of Defense of the People's Republic of China, Wu Qian, at a press conference after the meeting of Minister Wei Fenghe with Austin, said that the Chinese army will use any means of struggle when trying to separate Taiwan.
“If someone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will have no choice but to fight with all means and take all necessary measures to stop any attempts by the Taiwanese separatists,— Qian said.
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Taiwan— an island in the South China Sea, which is located about 150 km from the coast of China. The territory declared secession from the country in 1949, during the revolution, but Beijing did not recognize this decision and still considers it one of the Chinese provinces.
Taiwan's independence is recognized by several states, the United States is not among them. In 1954, Washington signed a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan. It ceased to operate in 1979 after the termination of diplomatic relations, but was replaced by the American “Taiwan Relations Act”, which also provides for defensive assistance from Washington in the event of an external threat to the security of Taiwan.
In April, China announced large-scale military exercises in the sea and airspace off the island due to “serious misinformation” that the United States is sending to “Taiwanese separatists.” United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken then promised to provide Taiwan with everything necessary to protect Taiwan from any possible aggression, including from China.
On May 23, US President Joe Biden said that the United States was ready for a military response to the use of force China vs Taiwan. He said that the country adheres to the policy of one China, but this does not mean that the PRC authorities have the right to use force to seize Taiwan. China protested.
The United States has several key allies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia, India, South Korea and Japan. Last September, the United States, Great Britain and Australia announced the creation of the defense alliance AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, United States). China accused the countries of creating an anti-Chinese military bloc.
Also last September, the first summit of the leaders of Australia, India, the United States and Japan was held as part of the new Quadripartite Security Dialogue (QUAD) alliance.
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