Blinken spoke at the Reuters Next conference Friday when he shared his thoughts on China and the possible threat to Taiwan as tensions have continued to ramp up over the past few months.
He reiterated the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan’s right to self-govern, which China has threatened with claims that the island is part of its territory.
“We’ve been very clear and consistently clear, over many years that we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself and … we will continue to make good on that commitment,” Blinken said on the subject of committing military forces in the event China does invade Taiwan.
Blinken stressed that China’s leaders should “think very carefully” about any such action, which he said would have “terrible consequences for lots of people, and one that’s in no one’s interest.”
The comments follow a warning from top experts on the same day that a move to take over Taiwan could provide China the edge it needs to take top spot in the global community thanks to the island’s dominance in semiconductor manufacturing.
Taiwan produces the vast majority of semiconductors globally, supplying 63% of the market’s share compared to the mere 12% the U.S. supplied in 2019. In 2020, China supplied 16% of semiconductors globally.
“If you give the Chinese Communist Party control over large parts of the semiconductor industry, they’re going to have considerable leverage over their trading partners, and they’re going to use that leverage,” ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News. “They’ve shown in the past that when they have a strength, they use it.”
But Biden and Blinken have continued to firmly state the U.S. support for Taiwan against any possible Chinese invasion.
The U.S. and its western allies have backed Taiwan’s security and reports indicate the U.S. is working to shore up defenses in the Indo-Pacific as Chinese aggression in the region escalates.
A White House statement following U.S-China talks said “President Biden underscored that the United States remains committed to the ‘one-China’ policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances,” adding that the U.S. “strongly opposes” any move to alter the “status quo” in the region or “undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
President Tsai Ing-wen last month pledged that her country “will continue to step up cooperation with the United States in order to uphold our shared values of freedom and democracy and to ensure peace and stability in the region.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.