Any attempt by China to invade Taiwan would have “terrible consequences,” according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who added that he hoped Chinese authorities would think twice before “precipitating a crisis” across the Taiwan Strait.

Tensions between the United States and China have intensified as China has increased military pressure on Taiwan, an island claiming independence but which China considers its territory.

“But here again, I hope that China’s leaders think very carefully about this and about not precipitating a crisis that would have, I think, terrible consequences for lots of people, and one that’s in no one’s interest, starting with China,” Blinken said at the Reuters Next conference on Friday.

Blinken also reiterated the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan’s right to self-govern if China invades Taiwan.

“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,” he said.

China has maintained that there is “no room for compromise” on Taiwan and that anyone who supports Taiwanese independence is “playing with fire.”

In November, a bipartisan delegation of members of Congress visited Taiwan to engage with local officials in the broader delegation tour to several Asian countries.

According to a poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in October, 52 percent of Americans support US soldiers defending Taiwan in the event of a Chinese assault, The Hill reported.

According to a recent poll, China is viewed as the most significant international threat to the United States by many Americans (52 percent).

In recent months, tensions between China and the United States have grown over Taiwan, human rights, and the coronavirus.

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.”

Last month, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen stated 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.”

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