Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China’s ambassador warns U.S. of Taiwan consequences

China will view further U.S. arms sales, official travel to Taiwan or naval activity near the self-governing island as provocations that will further destabilize relations and prevent progress on other issues, Beijing’s ambassador to the U.S. warned. Ambassador Qin Gang said if Washington doesn’t “show restraint” in the wake of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, there will be “another round of tensions” and no dialogue on issues like climate change and nuclear security. Speaking to small group of reporters in Washington, Qin spoke on-the-record for 80 minutes, fielding questions on a range of sensitive issues — something of a rarity for senior Chinese officials. He rarely strayed far from a set of talking points — which, in the case of Taiwan, were strikingly hawkish — but did concede that Beijing has work to do to improve its image in both Taiwan and in the U.S., where he said “fear of China” was prevalent. (https://www.axios.com/2022/08/16/china-ambassador-warns-taiwan-response-us) China conducted weeklong military drills after Pelosi’s trip earlier this month. They appeared to be a dress rehearsal for subduing Taiwan and involved newly aggressive steps, like disregarding the median line between Taiwan and the mainland.

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