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Newsline: US Ambassador warns China against ‘manufactured crisis’ in Taiwan Strait

China needs to convince the rest of the world it is not an “agent of instability” and will act peacefully in the Taiwan Strait, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said in his first TV interview since taking up his post in Beijing six months ago. Burns spoke candidly about Beijing’s reaction to a visit by United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan earlier this month, to which China responded by launching extensive military drills around the self-governing island and suspending key diplomatic communications with the US. “We do not believe there should be a crisis in US-China relations over the visit — the peaceful visit — of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to Taiwan … it was a manufactured crisis by the government in Beijing. It was an overreaction,” Burns told CNN Friday from the US Embassy. It is now “incumbent upon the government here in Beijing to convince the rest of the world that it will act peacefully in the future,” the ambassador said. “I think there’s a lot of concern around the world that China has now become an agent of instability in the Taiwan Strait and that’s not in anyone’s interest.” (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/19/china/us-ambassador-nicholas-burns-interview-china-intl-hnk/index.html) Burns, a career diplomat and former US ambassador to NATO, arrived in Beijing in March to take up what is arguably the US’ most important diplomatic posting — navigating US-China ties already strained by tensions over a range of issues including China’s human rights record, trade practices and military expansion in the South China Sea.

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