Russia’s Lavrov accuses US of ‘playing with fire’ around Taiwan

Russia-US-Taiwan-fire

Russia accused the United States (US) on Saturday of “playing with fire” around Taiwan while China said it will press on working for “peaceful reunification” with the democratically-governed island and pledged to take forceful steps to oppose any external interference, a thinly-veiled reference to Washington.

Tensions over Taiwan between Washington and Beijing have soared after a visit there in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which was followed by large-scale Chinese military drills as well as a pledge by US President Joe Biden to defend the Chinese-claimed island.

Weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine in February, he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping declared a “no limits” partnership, inking a promise to collaborate more against the West.

Putin’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov in his Saturday address to the United Nations General Assembly targeted Washington’s Taiwan stance as well as the Western sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

“They’re playing with fire around Taiwan. On top of that, they’re promising military support to Taiwan,” Lavrov said.

Putin explicitly backs China over Taiwan. “We intend to firmly adhere to the principle of ‘One China’,” Putin said last week. “We condemn provocations by the United States and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

Asked last week in a CBS 60 Minutes interview whether US forces would defend Taiwan, Biden replied: “Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack.”

The statement was his most explicit to date about committing US troops to the defend the island. It also appeared to go beyond a long-standing US policy of “strategic ambiguity,” which does not make clear whether the United States would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.

Read more: Russia replaces top general, pursues breakaway Ukraine polls

Speaking moments before Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing would continue to work for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, and it would combat “separatist activities” towards Taiwan independence while taking forceful steps to oppose any external interference.

“Only by resolutely forestalling separatist activities can we forge a true foundation for peaceful reunification. Only when China is completely reunified, can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

His comments come a day after a 90 minute-long meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York, their first talks since Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August.

After the meeting, China accused the United States of sending “very wrong, dangerous signals” on Taiwan. Blinken told Wang maintenance of the peace and stability of Taiwan was vitally important, a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

China sees Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long-vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.

Taiwan’s democratically-elected government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.

from ARY NEWS https://ift.tt/o0PKWcv

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