Blinken: China drills are ‘significant escalation’

China opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments, and has accused the U.S. of breaking the status quo with the Pelosi visit.

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World News

August 5, 2022 - 4:43 PM

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), with her delegation, arrives in Taiwan as she is welcomed by Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, at Taipei Songshan International Airport. (Taiwan Foreign Ministry/Zuma Press/TNS)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation” and that he has urged Beijing to back down.

China launched the drills following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan that infuriated Beijing, which claims the self-governed island as its own territory.

Blinken told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia, however, that Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in American policy toward Taiwan, accusing China of using it as a “pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

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