The Defense Department argues that the tensions are due to a strategic misjudgment by Washington
Washington bears full responsibility for the current deterioration in US-China relations, Beijing argues. The Department of Defense alleged that US leadership has based its policy toward China on a flawed assessment.
Speaking to state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday, ministry spokesman Tan Kefei accused Washington of making a strategic misjudgment, saying China is not responsible for the current bilateral troubles.
On the same day, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told his American counterpart, Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, that Beijing considered Taiwan one of its core interests and a red line.
“Taiwan’s resolution is a matter for the Chinese people, no outside power has the right to interfere,said Wei during his meeting with Austin in Cambodia.
The minister also expressed hope that Washington would respect Beijing’s national interests and adopt a more rational approach to China – something that could reverse the negative trend in bilateral relations.
In recent years, successive US administrations have become increasingly critical of China, and Washington is now openly labeling China as a strategic adversary.
Tensions rose sharply in early August when Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, which China considers part of its separatist-held territory.
Enraged by Washington’s failure to heed its warnings, Beijing staged massive military exercises in the Taiwan Strait in the days that followed.
Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, when the losing party in the Chinese Civil War moved to the island and established its own administration there. In accordance with the One China principle, most countries have not recognized Taiwan as an independent state. However, Taipei has long maintained close unofficial relations with some countries, especially the US. Washington has been supplying Taiwan with arms for years.
China, for its part, maintains that the island is an inalienable part of its territory. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly cited Taiwan’s “reunification” with the mainland as one of Beijing’s main goals. He also made it clear that China is not ruling out a military option if all other avenues fail.
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