the taiwan strait is an international waterway and the government of Taiwan supports American warships that transit through it. This is the position of Taiwan defended by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the last few hours. A statement that aims to reject China’s position on its presumed sovereignty over the strategic passage, already converted into the most dangerous hot spot on the planet, according to The Economist’s definition.
The strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated government of the ROC fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who established the People’s Republic of China that same year. Beijing has threatened during this weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue Forum in Singapore with war in the conflict over Taiwan. The defense minister of the communist regime, Wei Fenghe, stressed that “China will definitely achieve reunification”, emphasizing that the ideal would be to achieve it by peaceful means. Wei issued a serious warning to countries that support Taiwanese independence. Those who support separation “they will not come to fruition” given that his country will fight “until the end fighting at any price.”
The situation in the strait has been heating up in recent years with the passage of US warships and, on occasion, those of allied countries such as UK and Canada, something that caused deep discomfort in Beijing, whose rearmament policy consists of expanding the control and domain of the waters of the South China Sea.
This Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry argued that its country “has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait.” Beijing considers it “a false claim that certain countries call the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters’ to find a pretext to manipulate Taiwan-related issues and threaten China’s sovereignty and security,” it said. Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
In Taipei, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Oh, responded that such comments were a “fallacy”. “The Taiwan Strait is international waters, and the waters outside our territorial waters are subject to the ‘freedom of the high seas’ principle of international law,” he told reporters.
Taiwan has always respected the actions of foreign ships in the Taiwan Strait that comply with international law, including innocent passage, Ou said. “We understand and support the contribution of US freedom of navigation missions to promoting regional peace and stability.”
China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control and regards the island as an inherent part of Chinese territory. The United States has supported the island, which has been democratic since the late 1980s. For this reason, in May, Joe Biden it assured the Taiwanese of military assistance if China attacked them.
friction with Australia
Australia is “open” to diplomatic meetings with China to settle the current phase of bilateral tensions, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on Tuesday, who spoke with the Chinese defense minister on Sunday, the first high-level meeting in more than two years. and a half. Marles, who also holds the Defense portfolio, met in Singapore with his counterpart Wei Fenghe during a bilateral meeting held in parallel to the Shangri-La Dialogue, the most important defense forum in Asia-Pacific.
“There was a desire in that meeting on both sides to bring the relationship to a better port,” Marles said today, from Tokyo, to the Australian public network ABC, insisting that this meeting is only “the first step and there is a long way to go.” To go”. This rapprochement between Marles and Wei, the first high-level appointment since January 2020 -according to ABC-, takes place a few weeks after the change of the Australian Executive, led by Labor Anthony Albanese, after nine years of government by the conservative coalition that collided head-on with China.
Despite the staged approach, Marles assured that his country will maintain its policy of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, an area that Beijing claims its complete sovereignty, as well as the rule of law in the Pacific, where fears of a potential militarization by Chinese expansion.
The The latest brush was China’s recent interception of an Australian Air Force plane over the South China Sea., a strategic area through which 80% of world trade passes by ship and where Beijing’s claim collides with the territorial demands of half a dozen countries -Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam-.