THE UNITED STATES has warned China against attempt to coerce Taiwan after Beijing’s new Shandong aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said Shandong and accompanying frigates sailed northwards through the Strait. Taiwan will see Presidential elections on January 11 with incumbent Tsai Ing-wen facing Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT) and James Soong of People First. The US State Department called on Beijing to “abstain from coercion that would jeopardise the security, or the social or economic system, of the people [in] Taiwan”.
It added: “The United States has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability. Taiwan is a reliable partner, a democratic role model, and a force for good in the world.
“We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue that seeks a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”
Taiwan’s official name is the Republic of China (ROC) and it was formed after the KMT lost the Chinese Civil War and left the Chinese mainland, which fell under the control of the Chinese Communist Party as the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Both the ROC and PRC claim to be the official government of China.
Cross-strait tensions relations heightened following Ms Tsai’s election and Beijing has attempted to put pressure on Taipei by encircling it on the international area.
Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu tweeted Taipei had monitored Shandong “every step of the way”.
He added: “Military threats like this only toughen Taiwan’s determination to defend itself and preserve region peace and stability.”
David R.Stilwell is the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in Washington and he said tensions “should not” have been rising before adding: “the concern always exists for meddling – interfering – in [Taiwan’s] internal affairs”.
The Holy See, a UN observer, is the only European state.
The PRC has proposed to use the one country, two systems principle, devised to govern Hong Kong and Macau with separate political, economic and legal affairs, in the unification it hopes to achieve with Taiwan.