Aug 7, 2020
China has stepped up its rhetorics against the United States following Washington’s decision to send a senior official on a visit to Taiwan.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe yesterday warned his US counterpart Mark Esper that Washington need to “avoid taking dangerous moves that may escalate the situation” in Taiwan and South China Sea.
Esper, however, told Wei in their 90-minute phone conversation that China was the one, which was undertaking destabilising activities in those areas.
He also called for greater transparency by Beijing on its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which started in China but has now killed nearly 160,000 Americans.
Washington has said it would send Health Secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan, where he will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials.
Azar will be the most senior US cabinet member to visit Taiwan since 1979.
Beijing views Taiwan, which does not have official relation with the US as its own territory.
The US is currently waging a diplomatic campaign against Beijing over several other issues such as China’s alleged human rights violations as well as attempts to colonise the South China Sea and harvesting personal information using technology such as the popular app TikTok.
Washington had last month ordered Beijing to close its consulate in Houston, labelling it a hub of spying and theft of US corporate secrets and in retaliation, China shut the US consulate in Chengdu.
The US is also in the process of banning Chinese apps and computing services of major Chinese companies such as AliBaba and TenCent.