US State Department’s spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, has called out China for breaking its “promises” to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and asked Beijing to be transparent and allow an investigation in the emergence of coronavirus from Wuhan province.
In the recent months, tensions between the US and China have escalated over a range of issues including coronavirus, Hong Kong national security law, Indo-Pacific region.
“China, we have made no secret in the Trump administration that they are a strategic competitor on many levels. There are some areas in which we do have to work with China and we have been able to work with them, especially on establishing the new phase one trade agreement. But for the most part, you know again we have seen that there are global challenges and challenges in Asia, where the Chinese Communist Party quite frankly have broken their promises. They have broken their promises in Hong Kong. They have broken them in Taiwan,” Ortagus said.
“We know that this COVID-19 virus that we’re all dealing with, you know, is something that emanated from China. We continue to call on them and to be transparent to be open to allow scientists and doctors in to investigate. That’s something that still hasn’t happened and something that we are going to continue to call for because we have to fight these global pandemics together,” she added.
Recently, Chinese foreign ministry announced that the country will impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other U.S. companies it says are involved in Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan.
Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province it has vowed to bring under control, by force if necessary.
Speaking about the 2+2 India US inter-ministerial dialogue, Ortagus said that Washington and New Delhi have reaffirmed that they are committed to the free and open Indo-Pacific region and that is “really important” in the era of global competition.
“So, we know that both of our countries reaffirmed that we are committed to the free and open Indo-Pacific, and that’s really important as we enter this era of global competition. One of the things that are going to be crucial and fundamental is freedom of navigation, freedom of the seas, free flow of trade of goods, and exchange of ideas,” Ortagus said.
During 2+2 dialogue, India and US welcomed the growing understanding on the Indo-Pacific among like-minded countries and emphasized that the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea should not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of any nation in accordance with international law.