US Official Visits Beijing as China Sends Show of Force Near Taiwan – An Intensifying Standoff
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US Official Visits Beijing as China Sends Show of Force Near Taiwan – An Intensifying Standoff

china military parade

Escalating Tensions as China Deploys Warships and Fighter Planes Near Taiwan During US Treasury Secretary’s Visit

As US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen paid a visit to Beijing in an effort to mend strained relations, China heightened tensions by deploying warships and fighter planes in close proximity to Taiwan. The Taiwanese defense ministry closely monitored the situation, which involved 13 aircraft and six vessels. They also confirmed that their land-based missile systems were prepared to respond, if necessary.

The situation intensified when four aircraft, including two SU-30 jet fighters, crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line, which serves as a de-facto border between China and Taiwan. Beijing persistently claims Taiwan as its own territory and has not hesitated to conduct regular air and naval missions in the area.

The United States’ unwavering support for Taiwan, a self-governing republic that emerged following the Chinese civil war in 1949, remains a major obstacle in the relationship between Washington and Beijing. Prior to Secretary Yellen’s arrival, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a significant visit to the People’s Liberation Army’s headquarters in eastern China, positioned directly facing Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait. State media reported that President Xi stressed the need to enhance combat capabilities and war preparedness.

China strongly opposes US military support for Taiwan and recently voiced its objections to an upcoming $440 million sale of cannon shells and other equipment, accusing Washington of exacerbating tensions and turning Taiwan into a potential flashpoint.

While Secretary Yellen’s visit does not include a meeting with President Xi, she emphasized the importance of open communication and fair competition between the two largest economies in the world. In her discussions with top Chinese officials, Yellen acknowledged that despite recent tensions, last year’s record-breaking two-way trade indicates substantial opportunities for trade and investment.

Yellen reiterated that the United States does not seek a winner-takes-all approach or unfair economic advantages in its relations with China. Instead, she called for a fair set of rules that would benefit both countries. Stressing the need to prevent misunderstandings, Yellen urged China to maintain open lines of communication to avoid further straining their bilateral economic and financial relationship amid their differing viewpoints.

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