China’s show of force against Taiwan on Thursday included firing missiles into the sea and threatening the island’s territorial waters. Taiwan said China fired 11 ballistic missiles into the waters off its northeastern and southwestern coasts, and Japanese officials said five Chinese missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The White House also reiterated to Qin that it wants to keep all lines of communication open and that nothing has changed in the US’s one-China policy, which stipulates that there is only one Chinese entity and no independent enclaves. But the White House also stressed that it found Beijing’s actions unacceptable and would uphold its values in the Indo-Pacific.
The meeting, which has not been previously reported, was between Qin and Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to President Biden and coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs at the National Security Council, according to a White House official, who spoke under condition of anonymity. share details of a private conversation.
China’s military actions on Thursday raised tensions across the Taiwan Strait to the highest level in decades, raising fears of a dangerous miscalculation in one of the world’s hottest geopolitical hotspots. Beijing has openly expressed anger over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which it sees as part of its territory awaiting unification, and relations between the United States and China were already strained over disputes over trade, human rights and other issues.
Pelosi: Why am I visiting Taiwan?
The White House highlighted to Qin a statement from the Group of Seven industrialized democracies, Kirby said, which stressed that China must not use Pelosi’s visit as a pretext for aggressive military action in the Taiwan Strait. The White House also expressed support for a statement by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which called on all sides to de-escalate tensions and engage in dialogue.
“We make it clear once again, as we have done privately at the highest level and publicly: nothing has changed in our one-China policy. We also make it clear that the United States is prepared for whatever Beijing decides to do,” Kirby said. “We will not seek and we do not want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, in accordance with international law, as we have done for decades, supporting Taiwan and advocating a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command carried out long-range live-fire exercises and “precision strikes” in the eastern parts of the strait. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the PLA fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles.
The White House sought to de-escalate tensions with China before and during Pelosi’s visit, which she made against the administration’s wishes. White House officials warned earlier this week that China was bracing for possible aggressive action that could continue well beyond Pelosi’s visit.
Virtually every senior member of Biden’s national security team had privately expressed deep reservations about the trip and its timing, the White House official said. They were especially concerned that tensions between the United States and China are already high, and Washington is seeking China’s cooperation on the war in Ukraine and other issues.
Senior White House officials defended Pelosi’s right to travel to Taiwan both publicly and to their counterparts in China, but even so, some of them still didn’t think the trip was a good idea, the official said.
China has for years sought to diplomatically isolate Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party claims the island, an autonomous democracy home to more than 23 million people, as its territory, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has vowed to “reunify” Taiwan with China, by force if necessary.
Chinese Ambassador: Why We Opposed Pelosi’s Visit
But Pelosi doubled down on Thursday, saying China would fail to intimidate the island.
“They may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan,” Pelosi said in Tokyo, the last stop on her tour. “They are not meeting our travel schedule. The Chinese government is not doing that.”
At a news conference Thursday, Kirby said the United States is responding to China’s actions.
The United States will carry out standard air and sea transits across the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks, it said, and will take “additional steps” to support its allies in the region, including Japan, though it did not specify what those actions will be. would. The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and his battle group will remain near Taiwan to monitor the situation, Kirby added.
Lily Kuo contributed to this report.