Taiwan: White House hopes to contain tensions with China

Taiwan: White House hopes to contain tensions with China

by Nandita Bose and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration wants to prevent tensions between the United States and China, heightened by a visit to Taiwan by a senior U.S. congressional delegation, from igniting a conflict, said the White House national security council spokesman on Tuesday.

During a press briefing, John Kirby noted that the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, was within her rights by going to Taiwan on Tuesday.

He stressed that the visit does not constitute a violation of Chinese sovereignty and does not contravene the long-standing US policy of “one China”.

“We don’t want to see this turn into any kind of crisis or conflict,” John Kirby told reporters. “There is no reason to amplify this.”

Upon arriving in Taipei, Nancy Pelosi described her visit as a demonstration of unwavering US support for Taiwan, where the last visit by a speaker of the US House of Representatives was in 1997.

Beijing sent fighter jets near the Taiwan Strait ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s arrival. In addition, the Chinese army announced that it would conduct air and ground exercises near the island from Thursday.

John Kirby said the United States would continue to operate at sea and in the air in the Pacific region.

On the sidelines of the military maneuvers, the spokesman for the White House National Security Council said that China could use “economic coercion” against Taiwan, without saying more.

(Report Nandita Bose and Alexandra Alper; French version Jean Terzian)

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