At ASEAN summit, Borrell calls for de-escalation in Taiwan Strait

Phnom Penh, Aug 5 (EFE).- The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell made an appeal on Friday in the Cambodian capital to all parties involved in the Taiwan Strait situation to avoid an escalation that could cause “more serious situations.”

In statements to EFE, Borrell stressed that “no one can modify the status quo unilaterally, and even less so by resorting to force,” referring to China’s live fire military drills in retaliation for United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.

Borrell acknowledged that “tension is growing” in the region as he was attending this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh alongside his counterparts from the US, China, Russia and other countries.

“We have to insist on the idea that we should avoid an escalation and prospects of status quo changes in the Strait of Taiwan by using military means,” Borrell said.

“It is a moment in which having opportunities to discuss [issues] personally have to be used. Everybody has to try to play a role of moderation when things like this happen.”

Borrell confirmed that China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi did not attend the gala dinner for the ministers on Thursday night, during which they were scheduled to sit next to each other, but said he showed willingness to go ahead with a bilateral meeting before the summit ends.

The Chinese military began its live-fire military exercises around Taiwan on Thursday.

The drills include the closure of maritime and air space in six areas around the island and have affected 18 international air routes on the island and more than 900 flights have been forced to change their routes.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has not ruled out use of force to achieve “reunification.” EFE


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