Home China Chinese Moves Could Spark ‘Unintended’ Conflict, Says US Diplomat In Taipei

Chinese Moves Could Spark ‘Unintended’ Conflict, Says US Diplomat In Taipei

Conflict Warning

Washington’s top diplomat in Taipei, Sandra Oudkirk, has expressed concerns over China’s “provocative” actions around Taiwan, Japan, and the South China Sea, warning that they could lead to unintended conflicts.

Oudkirk, the outgoing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and de facto U.S. ambassador, emphasised the United States’ commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the broader region.

“We have consistently urged the PRC to avoid coercive or provocative actions,” Oudkirk stated, highlighting the risks associated with such behaviours.

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Over the past four years, China has intensified military and political pressure on Taiwan, including recent war games around the island. Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve unification. The Chinese government has warned that Taiwan is a critical and potentially dangerous issue in Sino-U.S. relations.

Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, the United States remains Taiwan’s most crucial international supporter and arms supplier. Oudkirk reiterated that enhancing Taiwan’s self-defence capabilities is a top priority for AIT.

She noted that while the pandemic caused delays in arms deliveries, these issues are being resolved, and Taiwan can expect the arrival of military equipment ordered in recent years.

Oudkirk did not elaborate on the specifics of the U.S.-Taiwan military cooperation but reaffirmed the U.S. dedication to Taiwan’s defence. Taiwan has previously expressed concerns over delayed arms deliveries from the United States, which Oudkirk attributed to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.

Oudkirk’s three-year tenure will end next month, with Raymond Greene, the current deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, set to succeed her. Greene is described as being “very familiar” with Taiwan, suggesting continuity in the U.S. approach to relations with the island.

With Inputs From Reuters