Lazy eyes listen
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Chinese officials warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the activities of Taiwan’s “pro-independence” vice president, Lai Ching-te, could aggravate tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
The chat allegedly took place during Blinken’s recent trip to China, where he met with President Xi Jinping.
According to the WSJ, Blinken was questioned if the US considered Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to be a friend, and if Washington had “a vested interest” in the outcome of the island’s presidential election in January.
According to reports, Blinken claimed that the United States would be “even-handed” in the election and that Washington did not support outside involvement in the vote process.
Beijing has regularly accused the US of supporting “secessionist” leaders in Taiwan, which it regards as its sovereign territory. Although the United States has not established formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, American lawmakers have met with local officials. Such ties, as well as the supply of US arms to Taiwan, are viewed as violations of the ‘One China’ concept by Beijing.
Following then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August 2022 and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s tour to the US in March 2023, Beijing conducted large-scale snap military drills surrounding the island.
Lai, who is now leading in polls for Taiwan’s presidential election in 2024, has previously defined himself as “a pragmatic political worker for Taiwanese independence.” He then stressed that he would not seek to alter Taiwan’s current political position.
“I would like to reiterate that Taiwan is already an independent and sovereign nation, and thus we do not have a need to further declare Taiwan independence,” Lai stated in January, according to Focus Taiwan.
On the 18th and 19th of June, Blinken visited China. Both parties expressed cautious hope regarding the result of the talks. Beijing, on the other hand, sharply criticised remarks made by President Joe Biden, who called Xi a “dictator” immediately after Blinken returned home.