Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared the United States does not support Taiwanese independence during a press conference held in Beijing on Monday.
Status quo on Taiwan: While Blinken mentioned China’s escalating aggression towards Taiwan, he assured the Chinese government that the US opposes any change in the country’s current stance, emphasizing the various agreements and acts that support the “One-China” policy.
I raised U.S. concerns, shared by a growing number of countries, about the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] provocative actions in the Taiwan Strait as well as in the East and South China Seas. On Taiwan, I reiterated the longstanding U.S. One China policy. That policy has not changed. It’s guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques, the Six Assurances.
We do not support Taiwan independence, we remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross-strait differences. We remain committed to meeting our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act, including making sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself.
Mirroring his Chinese counterparts: Prior to Blinken’s press conference, he participated in a series of diplomatic meetings that aimed to establish a more cooperative relationship with China, including discussions with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping and Chinese foreign policy czar Wang Yi.
Blinken’s remarks coincide with those made by Yi, who had previously expressed a similar sentiment on Taiwanese independence during his meeting with Blinken. According to a readout of the discussion from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Yi emphasized China’s firm stance on the issue, stating that there is “no room for compromise or concession” and that the U.S. must adhere to the “One-China” policy and “oppose Taiwanese independence.”
Advocates of the One China policy have long emphasized its success in preventing open hostilitie
s between China and Taiwan. However, opponents argue that the policy lacks coherence
, given the U.S.’ interest in defending Taiwan
and its tacit recognition of Taiwan’s right to self-determination.
Critics’ reactions: Some conservative critics of the Biden administration expressed frustration with Blinken’s statement.
Rep. Jim Banks, (R, IN-3), who serves on the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party, viewed the stance as a form of “weakness.”
Meanwhile, senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council Michael Sobolik said Blinken had contradicted his previous commitment to engaging with China on the subject.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R, TN-23) criticized the Biden administration for not standing up to “bullies.”