China's military drills around Taiwan in response to the U.S. house speaker's visit to the self-ruled island is a disproportionate and unjustified escalation, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday (August 5), Reuters reports.
Blinken said the United States has made it repeatedly clear to China it does not seek a crisis, adding that Washington and its allies were seriously concerned by its latest actions.
China has been conducting the largest-ever military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, including launching live missiles around the island it claims as part of its sovereign territory.
"There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response," Blinken told a news conference on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting. Blinken did not meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the regional summit.
"The differences between the mainland and Taiwan need to be resolved peacefully. Not coercively and not by force, so it is incumbent upon China to continue to resolves those differences peacefully," Blinken said after Friday's East Asia Summit.
The American diplomat also encouraged the global community to not support Myanmar’s military government’s plans to conduct elections next year, following the execution of four activists in July, saying that the balloting will be “neither free nor fair under present conditions”.
Blinken said Washington was prepared to engage with Moscow through diplomatic channels established to handle potential prisoner exchanges, after U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for a drug offense in Russia. He added that Griner's conviction had further compounded the injustice that had been done to her.