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USA sends aircraft carriers to the South China Sea | Free press

Beijing (AP) – Already in the first days of the tenure of the new US president Joe Biden, tensions between China and the US over Taiwan and the South China Sea are mounting.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian criticized the shipment of the US aircraft carrier “USS Theodore Roosevelt” to the South China Sea as a “show of strength” threatening peace and stability in the region.

The spokesman also rejected US demands that Beijing cease military, economic and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan. Zhao Lijian underlined the Chinese view that the island is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic. Beijing is firmly against the pursuit of independence or the interference of outside forces. Beijing is all set for dialogue – but only on the basis of its one China doctrine.

US demand to end “harassment” of Taiwan followed military muscle competitions in Beijing. Eight Chinese bombers and four fighter planes had previously entered the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and tested air defense, Taiwan’s armed forces announced on Saturday. It was the largest military action of its kind to date, and it had grown steadily over the past year.

Beijing is angry that the Taiwanese representative in Washington has been officially invited to the inauguration of a president for the first time. Donald Trump’s previous US administration had already upgraded its relations with Taiwan and allowed official contacts for the first time, which Beijing firmly rejects because it does not recognize the democratically elected government in Taipei.

The State Department spokesman urged the US not to send “wrong signals” to Taiwan’s independence forces so as not to damage relations between China and the US. Despite threats from Beijing, liberal Taiwan sees itself as an independent state and seeks diplomatic recognition in the world, while isolated from more powerful China.

The US Navy justified the use of the “USS Theodore Roosevelt” in the South China Sea by stating that the aircraft carrier group wanted to advocate “freedom of navigation” in the sea area where two-thirds of world trade passes. China claims much of the sea area between China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The International Court of Arbitration in The Hague has rejected China’s claims in 2016, which Beijing is ignoring.

State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian urged US President Biden’s new US administration not to initiate a dispute. Beijing hopes that both sides can work together and deal with their disagreements – “in a spirit of non-confrontation.”

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