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Blinken warns it would be a 'serious mistake' for Taiwan's status to be changed 'by force'

Blinken warns it would be a 'serious mistake' for Taiwan's status to be changed 'by force'
© AFP/Pool

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden speaks with Israel's Netanyahu again amid ramped-up strikes in Gaza State calls for Azerbaijan to pull back forces from Armenia border Progressive groups call for Biden to denounce evictions of Palestinians as 'war crimes' MORE on Sunday said it would be a “serious mistake” for anyone to attempt to change Taiwan’s “status quo,” appearing to send a warning to China who has heightened tensions with the island country it claims control over.

While appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' Hogan: GOP devolving into 'circular firing squad' with Cheney ouster MORE asked Blinken if the U.S. was prepared to defend Taiwan militarily.

“So, Chuck, what we've seen and what is a real concern to us is increasingly aggressive actions by the government in Beijing, directed at Taiwan, raising tensions in the straits,” Blinken said. “And we have a commitment to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, a bipartisan commitment that's existed for many many years to make sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself and to make sure that we're sustaining peace and security in the western Pacific.”

“We stand behind all those commitments and all I can tell you is, it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change the existing status quo by force," Blinken added.

Todd pressed Blinken on whether the U.S. government’s “commitments” included military action. Blinken responded that he would not be discussing "hypotheticals" and instead stated the U.S. would stand by its commitment to allow Taiwan to defend itself.

“We have a serious commitment to peace and security in the western Pacific and in that context, it would be a serious mistake for anyone to try to change that status quo by force,” Blinken said.

Last week the State Department announced that it was issuing new guidance for government talks with Taiwan, though it did not lay out what was included in the new guidelines.

“The Department of State has issued new guidelines for U.S. government interaction with Taiwan counterparts to encourage U.S. government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship. The guidance underscores Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important security and economic partner that is also a force for good in the international community,” a State Department spokesperson said at the time.