Asia - Pacific

ASEAN opposes ‘provocative’ actions in Taiwan Straits

Regional grouping urges all parties to abide by UN Charter, support one-China policy, says ready to facilitate peace dialogue

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 04.08.2022
ASEAN opposes ‘provocative’ actions in Taiwan Straits


The Southeast Asian regional bloc has opposed “provocative” actions in Taiwan Strait while backing the “one-China policy” and proposing to play its role to facilitate peaceful dialogue between all parties. 

“ASEAN is concerned with the international and regional volatility, especially in the recent development in the area adjacent with the ASEAN region,” said 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in a joint statement released by Cambodia on Thursday.

Cambodia is the current chair of the ASEAN and its top diplomats are meeting in the capital Phnom Penh for their regular summit.

Without directly naming the Taiwan Strait, the grouping said the developments across the strait could lead to “miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers.”

The statement came as China launched four-day live-fire military exercises around self-ruled Taiwan after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip to the island nation, a first trip to the self-ruled island by a sitting US House speaker in 25 years.

In 1997, Republican Newt Gingrich was the last House speaker to visit the island, which has maintained its independence since 1949.

Beijing blasted Washington over the trip, calling it a “provocation,” the consequences of which will be the responsibility of the US side.

However, the ASEAN called for “maximum restraint” and urged all sides to “refrain from provocative action."

Taiwan has urged mariners to avoid the areas where military exercises are being carried out as its Defense Ministry has warned that the Chinese military action will impact the island nation’s trading routes.

The regional grouping called for upholding the principles of the UN Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The UN Chief Antonio Guterres has also reiterated the UN’s position on Taiwan Strait: “Our position is very clear, we abide by (UN) General Assembly resolutions, by the one-China policy, and that is the orientation that we have in everything we do."

“We reiterate ASEAN member states’ support for their respective one-China policy,” the ASEAN top diplomats stressed.

“The world is in dire need of wisdom, and responsibility of all leaders to uphold multi-lateralism and partnership, cooperation, peaceful co-existence and healthy competition for our shared goals of peace, stability, security and inclusive and sustainable development,” they added.

China views Taiwan, home to over 24 million people, as its “breakaway province” and has vowed to reunify it with the mainland, including by force if necessary.

The US formally recognized China in 1979 and shifted its diplomatic mission from Taipei to Beijing, including Taiwan as part of mainland China.

The Taiwan Relations Act, enacted in 1979, has governed US relations with Taiwan. Bilateral agreements known as the Three Communiques have also influenced the ties.

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