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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 05:57 AM

Blinken: China military drills are 'significant escalation'

Source: AP

By DAVID RISING

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation” and that he has urged Beijing to back down.

China launched the drills following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan that infuriated Beijing, which claims the self-governed island as its own territory.

Blinken told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia, however, that Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in American policy toward Taiwan, accusing China of using it as a “pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

He said the situation had led to a “vigorous communication” during East Asia Summit meetings in Phnom Penh in which both he and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi took part along with the ASEAN nations, Russia and others.



Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, are seated close together during an east Asia summit foreign ministers meeting at Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Blinken is on a ten day trip to Cambodia, Philippians, South Africa, Congo, and Rwanda. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-world-news-china-asia-pacific-93cd119fd932a3206e430ae5f223463d

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