China-US tensions rise as Taiwan sends White House thanks for ‘concrete actions’

Taipei foreign ministry released a statement on Saturday which expressed “sincere gratitude” to the United States for taking “concrete action” to maintain security and peace at the Taiwan Strait.

In their statement, the Taiwan foreign ministry said that China’s “unprovoked military and economy intimidation” had “further strengthened the unity and resilience of the global democratic camp”.

Taiwan’s statement comes after Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific issues, said that China had “overreacted” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Mr Campbell described China’s actions as “destabilising and unprecedented” on Friday and called China’s recent military operations near Taiwan an “intensified pressure campaign.”

He said that several Chinese warships remain near Taiwan and that the military operations “[have] not ended and we expect it to continue to unfold in the coming weeks and months”.

On Friday, America announced its plans to conduct new “air and maritime transits” in response to China’s military operations.

Mr Campbell said the US military will “continue to fly, sail and operate where international law allows, consistent with our longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation”.

He added: “That includes conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.”

The advisor also said that the White House is also planning to announce an “ambitious roadmap” for economic deals with Taiwan.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan. “

Mr Wang Yi also added that Taiwan would “eventually return to the embrace of the motherland”.

Ms Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan has been controversial as China views Taiwan as its province and wants the self-governing island under its control.

On Saturday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said that the island is facing “pressure from China”.

She said: “Taiwanese are very enthusiastic and love freedom and democracy, so many good international friends have come to Taiwan to support us. This is a normal and good thing, but China threatens and intimidates Taiwan,

“However, I would like to reassure everyone that both our government and the military are prepared, and I will definitely take care of Taiwan.”