Australia, the United States and Japan have harshly condemned China, accusing the country of “seriously” affecting international stability because of their intense military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.
On Friday, Foreign Secretary Penny Wong said China’s actions, which included launching ballistic missiles that Japan claims had landed in its exclusive economic zone, were “disproportionate and destabilizing.”
Wong, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa issued the joint statement on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Summit currently underway in Phnom Penh.
China on Thursday launched large-scale military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and launched ballistic missiles that would have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan on Wednesday.
“The Secretary and the Foreign Ministers expressed concern over recent actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) which seriously affect international peace and stability, including the use of large-scale military exercises,” they said. Wong, Blinken and Yoshimasa said in a joint statement. statement.
The trio specifically condemned China’s deployment of ballistic missiles, an act they said raised tensions and destabilized the region.
China reacted with fury to Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, a small democracy whose independence the communist nation refuses to recognize.
In addition to dramatically increasing their live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, China has “personally sanctioned” Ms Pelosi and her immediate family, the PRC said in a statement.
China does not recognize Taiwan’s independence and has pledged to “reunify” the island nation with mainland China, if necessary by force.
The escalation of Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait led ASEAN to issue the rare call on Thursday for “maximum restraint”.
The secretary and the ministers have repeatedly stressed that there is “no change” in each country’s policy on Taiwan.
In the joint statement, Wong, Blinken and Yoshimasa also pledged to strengthen relations between the three countries.
They said the partnership was built on the “steadfast foundation” of nations’ shared interests and values, including freedom, the rule of law and freedom of navigation and overflight.