US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday pressed Beijing on its treatment of Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong, while China defended its policies in the first conversation between top officials of the two powers since US President Joe Biden took office.
“I made clear the US will defend our national interests, stand up for our democratic values, and hold Beijing accountable for its abuses of the international system,” Blinken wrote on Twitter of his call with Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪), a politburo member and head of the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign affairs office.
Blinken told Yang that the US would “continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong,” a US Department of State statement said of the call.
Blinken also “pressed China to join the international community in condemning the military coup” in Myanmar, it said.
The top US diplomat said the US would hold Beijing “accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific region, including across the Taiwan Strait, and its undermining of the rules-based international system.”
The tough tone comes after Blinken in his confirmation hearing said he would continue former US president Donald Trump’s approach to China in a rare point of agreement between the two administrations.
Yang said on the call that Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet were “China’s internal affairs” and “no external forces are allowed to interfere,” urging the US to “correct mistakes” made in the past few years, the Chinese embassy to the US said in a statement.
He also called on Washington to “strictly abide by the one China principle” under which Beijing considers Taiwan an inseparable part of its territory, saying that “the Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive core issue in China-US relations.”
Blinken has previously spoken of climate change as an area of cooperation as China and the US are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
China said it would punish businesses and political donors with links to individuals supporting Taiwanese independence after it fined Taiwanese conglomerate Far Eastern Group (遠東集團). “Businesses and financial sponsors associated with supporters of Taiwan independence will be penalized according to law,” Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) told reporters on Monday, according to a statement from her agency. Zhu said that backers of independence undermine cross-strait relations and risk instability in the region. Zhu made the remark as she responded to a question about whether the punishment Far Eastern received earlier on Monday was connected to China’s efforts to sanction Taiwanese
‘REMAIN VIGILANT’: The CECC said that the COVID-19 situation in neighboring countries is still severe, so it is not considering easing border controls at this point About 35,500 rooms are expected to be available at quarantine hotels and centralized quarantine facilities for Taiwanese returning to the nation from abroad between Dec. 14 and Feb. 14, up from 29,600 rooms announced previously, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) early this month said 26,000 rooms were available at quarantine hotels and that the CECC planned to make 3,600 rooms available at government quarantine facilities. The center announced the capacity expansion at an inter-ministerial meeting on COVID-19 prevention at the Executive Yuan yesterday morning. The CECC told the meeting that COVID-19 cases