MANILA, Philippines (AP) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that China should not hold hostage talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis, as Beijing approached Washington in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. was cut. earlier this week.

Blinken spoke at an online news conference with his Philippine counterpart in Manila after meeting newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other top officials, as relations between Washington and Beijing fell to their worst level in years.

Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island angered China, which claims Taiwan as its territory that would be annexed by force if necessary. China on Thursday began military drills off Taiwan’s shores and on Friday cut off contact with the US on important issues, including military affairs and critical climate cooperation, as a punishment against Pelosi’s visit.

“We should not engage in hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of the differences between our two countries,” Blinken said. “Others are expecting us to continue working on issues that are important to the lives and livelihoods of their people as well as our own.”

He cited cooperation on climate change as a key area where China cut off links that “doesn’t punish the United States – it punishes the world.”

“The world’s biggest carbon emitter is now refusing to combat the climate crisis,” Blinken said, adding that China’s firing of ballistic missiles that landed in the waters around Taiwan was a dangerous and unsustainable action.

“What happens to the Taiwan Strait affects the entire region. In many ways it affects the whole world because the strait, like the South China Sea, is an important waterway,” he said, noting that the global container fleet Nearly half of the world’s largest and 90% of the world’s largest ships pass through the waterway this year.

China “shuts down military-to-military channels that are important to avoid miscommunication and avoid crisis, but also cooperate on international crimes and counter-narcotics, which the United States, China and its Let’s help keep people safe outside,” he said.

Despite China’s actions, Blinken said he told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday in Cambodia, where he attended the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, that the U.S. did not want to escalate the situation.

“We want to de-escalate those tensions and we think dialogue is a very important element of that,” he said, adding that “the US is reducing our channels of communication with China to avoid increasing misunderstandings or miscommunication.” Will keep it open.”

Blinken is the highest-ranking US official to visit the Philippines since Marcos Jr. took office on June 30 after a massive election victory. In his brief meeting with Blinken, Marcos Jr. mentioned that he was surprised by the turn of events related to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week.

“It just shows – how has been the intensity of that conflict,” Marcos Jr. said based on a transcript released by Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“It shows how unstable the international diplomatic landscape is not only in the region,” he said.

Marcos Jr. praised the important relationship between Manila and Washington, which are treaty allies, and American aid to the Philippines over the years.

Blinken reiterated Washington’s commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines and to “work with you on shared challenges.”

Blinken told reporters that he also discussed with Marcos Jr. the US commitment to working with the Philippines to strengthen democracy and protect the rule of law, human rights, freedom of expression and civil society groups, “which important to our alliance.”

Describing the Philippines as “an irreplaceable friend”, he said he reiterated to the president that an armed attack on Filipino forces, public ships or aircraft in the South China Sea would “enforce America’s mutual defense commitments.”

Blinken arrived in Manila on Friday night after attending ASEAN meetings in Cambodia, where his Chinese and Russian counterparts joined him.

ASEAN foreign ministers called for “maximum restraint” as China conducted war drills around Taiwan and the U.S.

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