Washington: The United States has called on China to cease its pressure against Taiwan and resolve the cross-strait issues `peacefully`.
This was conveyed during a phone call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi on Friday (June 10).
During the phone call, Blinken underscored US concern over the deterioration of democratic norms in Hong Kong and the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
“He also called on Beijing to cease its pressure campaign against Taiwan and peacefully resolve cross-Strait issues,” read a State Department statement on the issue.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are escalating. China ramped up political pressure and military threats against Taiwan, with almost daily incursions into Taipei`s air defence identification zone.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.
China has threatened that “Taiwan`s independence” means war. The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia.
It is one of the most heavily policed strips of water in the world, patrolled by both Chinese and Taiwanese navy and coast guard vessels.
During the phone call, the US State Secretary raised several cases of US and Canadian citizens subject to arbitrary detention and exit bans in China and called for the immediate release of those wrongfully detained.
Meanwhile, Jiechi urged the US to adhere to the one-China principle, and take concrete actions to maintain the overall situation of China-US ties as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
According to Xinhua news agency, Yang also called on the US to keep to its promise and cherish its credibility, and handle issues related to Taiwan in a prudent and proper manner.
Back in March this year, a heated exchange was witnessed between US and Chinese diplomats at Anchorage, Alaska.
China’s top diplomat, Jiechi, had delivered a 16-minute rant during the meeting with Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, accusing them of condescension and hypocrisy.