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White House Summons Chinese Amb. over Beijing’s Escalation

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The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador on Thursday to condemn Beijing’s sharply escalating actions against Taiwan this week.

“After China’s actions overnight, we summoned [People’s Republic of China] Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to démarche him about the PRC’s provocative actions,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a statement provided to The Washington Post.

“We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” A démarche is a protest lodged through diplomatic channels.

On his part, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), represent a “significant escalation”.

During a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia, Blinken accused China of using House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island 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.

“I reiterated the points that we made publicly as well as directly to Chinese counterparts in recent days, again, about the fact that they should not use the visit as a pretext for war, escalation, for provocative actions, that there is no possible justification for what they’ve done and urge them to cease these actions,” Blinken added.

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