EDITORIAL: The Straits Times says- Cool heads needed in the Taiwan Strait

The Straits Times

 To Beijing, the United States’ de facto ambassador’s participation over the weekend in a ceremony commemorating a 1958 military confrontation between China and Taiwan was nothing short of provocative. The event marked the attacks on Kinmen and Matsu islands by China, which the Taiwanese forces repelled with support from the US. It was the first time that the unofficial envoy took part in the ceremony. Beijing was scathing in its response on Monday, accusing the US of playing the Taiwan card in their bilateral ties. It also called the US-Taiwan security cooperation in 1958 a “shameful” moment in which the US tried to stop the reunification of the mainland and Taiwan.



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This week’s episode was one of several in the past months that have heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait and, for some, increased the risk of a military conflict. In particular, US moves to strengthen ties with Taiwan – which Beijing considers a breakaway province to be reunified, by force if necessary – have angered China. Under President Donald Trump, the US enacted laws that allowed US warships to make port calls and senior officials to visit Taiwan, overturning previous taboos. It also increased arms sales to the island. Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taipei this month, the most senior US official to do so in four decades. Beijing reacted to the last by flying jets over the median line in the Taiwan Strait and holding large-scale exercises in the waterway.

 READ MORE: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/st-editorial/cool-heads-needed-in-the-taiwan-strait

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