Blinken warns China over Taiwan

Blinken warns China over Taiwan
© Associated Press/Tiziana Fabi

U.S. Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUS readying financial sanctions on pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine: report US sanctions Lebanese tourism company, Hezbollah members for ties to terrorism  White House says Russia could launch attack in Ukraine 'at any point' MORE raised a warning to his Chinese counterpart on Sunday regarding Taiwan amid tensions over the island with Beijing, which claims it as part of its territory.

During a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, Blinken emphasized areas in which the U.S. and China can work together, such as North Korea, Afghanistan and the climate crisis.

"He also raised concerns about a range of PRC [People's Republic of China] actions that that undermine the international rules-based order and that run counter to our values and interests and those of our allies and partners, including actions related to human rights, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, the East and South China Seas, and Taiwan," the State Department said.

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This meeting took place just days after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed the presence of U.S. troops in the self-governing island nation.

"We have a wide range of cooperation with the U.S. aiming at increasing our defense capability,” Tsai said in an interview on CNN last week, though she said there were "not as many as people thought."

“I do have faith and given the long term relationship that we have [with] the U.S. and also the support [of] the people of the U.S. as well as the Congress, and the administration has been very helpful,” she added.

Last week, Blinken also expressed support for Taiwan joining the United Nations (U.N.), saying he was being “pragmatic."

“The fact that Taiwan participated robustly in certain U.N. specialized agencies for the vast majority of the past 50 years is evidence of the value the international community places in Taiwan’s contributions,” Blinken said. “Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the U.N. and its related bodies, all of which stand to benefit greatly from its contributions.”

China spoke out against the possibility of Taiwan joining the U.N., saying it "has no right" to do so.

“The United Nations is an international governmental organisation composed of sovereign states. ... Taiwan is a part of China,” Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, said.

Taiwan earlier this month said 52 Chinese military aircraft had entered its air defense identification zone in Beijing's largest military provocation.