China can lower tensions over Taiwan by ending drills: US

National Security Council spokesman says China’s decision to halt engagement on climate change is fundamentally irresponsible



In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, a projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China. — AP
In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV, a projectile is launched from an unspecified location in China. — AP

By AFP

Published: Fri 5 Aug 2022, 10:44 PM

The United States condemned China on Friday for cutting off bilateral cooperation in a number of key areas, and said Beijing can ease tensions over Taiwan by ending its “provocative” military drills.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that China’s decision to halt engagement on climate change and other issues was “fundamentally irresponsible”.

“They think they’re punishing us by shutting down this channel,” Kirby told reporters.

“They’re actually punishing the whole world because the climate crisis doesn’t recognise geographic boundaries and borders,” he said. “It’s truly a global and existential crisis.

“The world’s largest emitter now is refusing to engage on critical steps necessary to combat the climate crisis, which actually impacts our partners from rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands and fires across Europe,” Kirby added.

China on Friday said it was ending cooperation with the United States on a litany of key issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military talks, as relations between the two superpowers nosedive over Taiwan.

Beijing has reacted furiously to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which it claims as its territory and has vowed to retake — by force if necessary.

Since Thursday, China has conducted a series of huge military drills around Taiwan that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.

Kirby said China can “go a long way to taking the tensions down simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric”.


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