Mon, 08 Aug 2022

Phnom Penh [Cambodia], August 4 (ANI): The Southeast Asian Foreign Ministers expressed concern over Taiwan as China began the massive military drills around Taiwan and warned that the situation could spark "open conflicts" and "unpredictable consequences" among major powers.

China has started its large-scale military drills around self-ruled Taiwan, hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed from Taipei which infuriated Beijing.

"ASEAN is concerned with the international and regional volatility, especially in the recent development in the area adjacent to the ASEAN region which could destabilize the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers," as per the statement released by ASEAN.

ASEAN countries called for maximum restraint, refraining from provocative action and asked to uphold the principles that were enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

"We reiterate ASEAN Member States' support for their respective One-China Policy," the statement reads.

According to the statement, the entire world needs the wisdom and responsibility of all the leaders to uphold multilateralism and partnership, cooperation, peaceful coexistence and healthy competition for the shared goals of peace, stability, security and inclusive and sustainable development.

"We should ACT TOGETHER and ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in facilitating peaceful dialogue between all parties including through utilizing ASEAN-led mechanisms to deescalate tension, to safeguard peace, security and development in our region," the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on Thursday conducted military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills around Taiwan island.

Pelosi's visit, which is also the highest level of US visits in more than two decades, left China heavily infuriated and the communist nation warned the US that it will "pay the price"Pelosi's trip has heightened US-China tensions more than visits by other members of Congress because of her high-level position as leader of the House of Representatives. She is the first speaker of the house to come to Taiwan in 25 years since Newt Gingrich in 1997.

The Chinese military had announced holding live-fire naval exercises in the Taiwan Strait after Pelosi's visit which is mainly seen to build security and economic momentum for the Indo-Pacific and is also seen as a move by the US to build pressure on China over its claim on Taiwan, responding to which the Pentagon also sent an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea.

Earlier, China sent 27 aircraft to Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), the island's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday hours after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taipei.

China which claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments, announced multiple military exercises around the island, issued a series of harsh statements and even summoned the US ambassador to Beijing, Nicholas Burns, to protest against Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

Moreover, China has decided to avoid meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Cambodia. (ANI)

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