World No Change in 'One China' Policy, U.S. Says After Antony Blinken's Taiwan Comments
The Latest: Blinken says US working with Taliban on flights
DOHA, Qatar — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the State Department is working with the Taliban to facilitate additional charter flights from Kabul for people seeking to leave Afghanistan after the American military and diplomatic departure. Blinken was speaking on Tuesday at a joint news conference with Qatar’s top diplomats and defense officials. He said the U.S. has been in contact with the Taliban “in recent hours” to work out arrangements for additional charter flights from the Afghan capital.
The United States' "One" policy remains unchanged, a U.S. official has told Newsweek after Secretary of State appeared to elevate the diplomatic status of by referring to the island as a country earlier this week.
At aForeign Affairs Committee , Blinken was pressed to offer assurances to the people of and Taiwan, after Representative (R-PA) said they were "scared to death" amid doubts about America's long-term security commitments following the withdrawal from .
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A Taiwanese official in charge of relations with China said Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is not displaying particular urgency in wanting to resolve the issue surrounding Taiwan's status.Some analysis in Taiwan has raised the possibility of seeing a more toned-down approach by Beijing after Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi overcomes leadership contenders and retains his position as the nation's paramount leader during the party's 20th National Congress.
"Absolutely. We stand by our commitments to both countries," Blinkento possible acts of aggression by and . On Taiwan, the U.S. would stand by its commitments under the (TRA), he added.
It was the second time since March that Blinken had described democratic Taiwan as a country, appearing to go against long-established government conventions including descriptions of the island as an "entity" or "area."
The U.S. broke off diplomatic ties with Taiwan—formally known as the Republic of China (ROC)—in 1979, when it normalized relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). U.S.-Taiwan relations have remained officially unofficial since, with a stated emphasis on cultural and economic exchanges and a less prominently displayed security partnership.
Key takeaways from Blinken's Capitol Hill testimony on Afghanistan withdrawal
Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced more than five hours of questions on Monday from members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He faces Senators Tuesday. He faces more questions from the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Under what is known as its "One China" policy, Washington recognizes the PRC in Beijing as the sole ruler of China but does not take a position on the question of Taiwan's sovereignty. This ambiguity has remained at the center of four decades of U.S.-Taiwan relations.
The PRC has never governed the island and its now 23.5 million residents but considers it part of its historic territory. Beijing has refused to rule out the use of force in its ultimate ambition of "unifying" Taiwan with the mainland, and has stepped uparound the island in recent years as public opinion has grown averse to closer political relations with its cross-strait neighbor.
Reached on Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson said the U.S.'s "One China" policy "has not changed" and continues to be guided by the TRA—also passed in 1979—the U.S.-PRC Three Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances offered to Taiwan.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick Plans Taiwan Visit in Defiance of China
Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, said on Monday that his "next stop" would be Taiwan.Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Monday and mentioned in passing what appeared to be developing plans to fly to Taipei.
Beijing considers the communiques—issued in 1972, 1979 and 1982—to be foundational to U.S.-China relations. They confirmed, among other intents, the switching of allegiances from the ROC to the PRC. Meanwhile, the assurances, given in 1982 as well, included U.S. pledges not to set a date for the end of arms sales, not to change its position on the political status of Taiwan and not to pressure Taiwan into negotiations with the PRC.
The TRA—supported by then-Senatorand under which defensive article continue to be sold—does not include a guarantee of military support for Taiwan in the event of a conflict with China. But it does require the president to notify of any threat to Taiwan's security or American interests, which could prompt an appropriate U.S. response.
"Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region," the State Department official said.
"The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan," the spokesperson added, calling Taiwan "a leading democracy and a critical economic and security partner."
Taiwan War Games Simulate Chinese Biological and Chemical Attack
Taiwan's annual Han Kuang live-fire drills—scaled down due to the pandemic—will last through Friday and include both standing army and reserve mobilization.The 37th Han Kuang war games—already scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic—will involve the mobilization of both standing and select reserve forces. Drills will take place throughout Taiwan as well as on its outlying islands in the Taiwan Strait.
"We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan," the statement concluded.
China did not respond to Blinken's most recent Taiwan remarks but warned the Biden administration this week against afor the island's de facto embassy in Washington. Currently called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, the new mission would be named the Taiwan Representative Office, according to a Financial Times report.
Afghanistan updates: Blinken faces 2nd day of grilling on Capitol Hill .
The Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan even as some Americans and Afghans continue desperate efforts to get out.But even as the last American troops were flown out to meet President Joe Biden's Aug. 31 deadline, other Americans who wanted to flee the country were left behind. The Biden administration is now focused on a "diplomatic mission" to help them leave but some hoping to evacuate are still stuck in the country. Meanwhile, the Taliban has announced its new "caretaker" government that includes men with U.S. bounties on their heads -- and no women.