The United States expects continued Chinese coercion on Taiwan

The United States said Thursday that it expects Beijing to intensify its “military, economic and diplomatic actions against Taiwan in the coming weeks and months.”

“If our policy does not change, what has changed is the increasing coercion from Beijing,” Daniel Krettenbrink, the US State Department’s East Asia official, said in a conference call with reporters.

Earlier this month, the Chinese military responded to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei by conducting unprecedented air and water exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

“These activities are part of an intense campaign of coercion (…) to intimidate and coerce Taiwan and undermine its resilience,” Krettenbrink said.

He added that these pressures will continue in the coming “weeks and months”.

On Thursday, Washington announced formal negotiations on a trade and investment agreement with Taiwan, in order to support this democracy, even if the United States did not maintain official relations with the Taipei government.

Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has promised to take it back one day, by force if necessary, and is angered by every diplomatic act progressing toward official recognition of the island.

(China’s) words and actions are deeply destabilizing. “They risk causing miscalculation and threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Krettenbrink said.

Taiwan presented its latest fighter jet on Wednesday in a rare night parade, following military exercises in Beijing.

The US diplomat stressed that Washington would respond with “calm but firm measures” to keep the Taiwan Strait open.

A senior US Navy commander said this week that Washington and its allies should challenge China’s launch of ballistic missiles over Taiwan.

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