WASHINGTON, August 5. /TASS/. China's ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, has been summoned to the White House in connection with Beijing's ‘provocative actions’ over Taiwan, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing a statement by White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby.
"After China’s actions overnight, we summoned [Chinese] Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to demarche him about the PRC’s provocative actions. We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the statement said.
The White House, however, reiterated that it wanted to maintain all lines of communication.
"We made clear once again as we have done privately at the highest levels and publicly: Nothing has changed about our one-China policy. We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do. We will not seek and do not want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades — supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific," the newspaper quoted Kurby as saying.
The White House also drew attention to a statement by the Group of Seven countries saying the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan should not be used as a pretext for "aggressive military actions."
The newspaper also quoted an unnamed White House spokesman as saying that Kurt Campbell, coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council, held the meeting with the Chinese envoy. According to the spokesman, almost all senior members of President Joe Biden's national security team expressed deep reservations about Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan and the timing of it, as tensions between the two countries had already reached a high.
Situation around Taiwan
Relations between mainland Chinese authorities and Taiwan have been extremely tense in the past few days because of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island on Tuesday and Wednesday. China has repeatedly warned the American side that if the trip takes place, there will be severe consequences. Immediately after Pelosi's arrival, Beijing announced plans to hold military exercises with live firing in six water areas around Taiwan. The People's Liberation Army of China began a large-scale live-fire military drills on August 4. The goal is to practice joint actions of various branches and types of troops and to engage contingent targets in nearby and distant areas. The drills will continue through August 7.
Taiwan has been governed by its own administration since 1949, when the remnants of the Kuomintang forces led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) fled there after their defeat in the Chinese Civil War. Since then it retains the flag and some other attributes of the former Republic of China, which existed on the mainland before the Communists came to power. According to China’s official position, supported by most countries, including Russia, the island is one of the Chinese provinces.