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Blinken: China should not hold global concerns ‘hostage’


MANILA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Saturday that China should not hold hostage talks on necessary global issues such because the local weather disaster, after Beijing lower off contacts with Washington in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s go to to Taiwan earlier this week.
Blinken spoke in a web-based information convention along with his Philippine counterpart in Manila after assembly newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and different high officers, as relations between Washington and Beijing plummeted to their worst degree in years.
Pelosi’s journey to the self-governed island outraged China, which claims Taiwan as its personal territory to be annexed by pressure if mandatory.
China on Thursday launched navy workout routines off Taiwan’s coasts and on Friday lower off contacts with the US on important points, together with navy issues and essential local weather cooperation, as punishments in opposition to Pelosi’s go to.
“We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries,” Blinken mentioned.
“Others are rightly expecting us to continue to work on issues that matter to the lives and livelihood of their people as well as our own.”
He cited cooperation on local weather change as a key space the place China shut down contact that “doesn’t punish the United States — it punishes the world.”
“The world’s largest carbon emitter is now refusing to engage on combatting the climate crisis,” Blinken mentioned, including that China’s firing of ballistic missiles that landed in waters surrounding Taiwan was a harmful and destabilizing motion.
“What happens to the Taiwan Strait affects the entire region. In many ways it affects the entire world because the Strait, like the South China Sea, is a critical waterway,” he mentioned, noting that just about half the global container fleet and practically 90% of the world’s largest ships transit by way of the waterway.
China shut “military-to-military channels, which are vital for avoiding miscommunication and avoiding crisis, but also cooperation on transnational crimes and counter-narcotics, which help keep people in the United States, China and beyond, safe,” he mentioned.
Despite China’s actions, Blinken mentioned he advised his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday in Cambodia, the place they attended an annual assembly of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, that the US did not need to escalate the scenario.
“We seek to deescalate those tensions and we think dialogues are a very important element of that,” he mentioned, including the US would “keep our channels of communication with China open with the intent of avoiding escalation to the misunderstanding or miscommunication.”
Blinken is the best rating American official to go to the Philippines since Marcos Jr. took workplace on June 30 following a landslide election victory. In his transient assembly with Blinken, Marcos Jr. talked about he was stunned by the flip of occasions associated to Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan this week.
“It just demonstrated it — how the intensity of that conflict has been,” Marcos Jr. said based on a transcript released by the presidential palace.
“This just demonstrates how volatile the international diplomatic scene is not only in the region,” he added.
Marcos Jr. praised the vital relationship between Manila and Washington, which are treaty allies, and US assistance to the Philippines over the years.
Blinken reiterated Washington’s commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines and “to working with you on shared challenges.”
Blinken told journalists he also discussed with Marcos Jr. strengthening democracy and US commitment to work with the Philippines to defend the rule of law, protect human rights, freedom of expression and safeguard civil society groups, “which are critical to our alliance.”
Describing the Philippines as ”an irreplaceable good friend,” he mentioned he reiterated to the president that an armed assault on Filipino forces, public vessels or plane within the South China Sea “will invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments.”
Blinken arrived Friday night time in Manila after attending the ASEAN conferences in Cambodia, the place he was joined by his Chinese and Russian counterparts.
ASEAN international ministers referred to as for “maximum restraint” as China mounted warfare drills round Taiwan and moved in opposition to the US, fearing the scenario “could destabilise the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers.”
In Manila, Blinken was additionally scheduled to go to a vaccination clinic and meet teams serving to combat coronavirus outbreaks after which go to a clear power truthful and meet US Embassy employees earlier than flying out Saturday night time.
Shortly earlier than Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan, as hypothesis rose that her plane may cease over briefly on the former US Clark Air Force base north of Manila for refuelling, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian mentioned in a TV interview he hoped “the Philippine side will strictly abide by the one-China principle and handle all Taiwan-related issues with prudence to ensure sound and steady development of China-Philippines relations.”
Huang’s remarks drew a pointy rebuke from opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who mentioned “the ambassador shouldn’t pontificate on such policies, especially considering that his country stubbornly and steadfastly refuses to recognise a decision rendered by an international arbitral court and ignores and flouts international law in the West Philippine Sea when it suits her interest.”
Hontiveros was referring to a 2016 arbitration ruling on a Philippine grievance that invalidated China’s huge territorial claims within the disputed South China Sea. She used the Philippine title for the disputed waters.
China has dismissed that ruling, which was welcomed by the US and Western allies, as a sham and continues to defy it.

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