China comments on US banks threat to withdraw in case of Taiwan attack
China seems to be unphased by threats that US banks made about pulling out from the country in case Beijing launched an attack on Taiwan.
The United States needs to strictly abide by the One China principle, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Thursday in response to US banks saying they would withdraw funds from China if Beijing were to attack Taiwan.
The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the heads of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have committed to withdrawing from China if the latter attacks Taiwan.
"The US side should abide by the One China principle and the three Chinese-US Joint Communiques and implement the US leader's position that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence," Zhao told a briefing.
US President Joe Biden said during an interview on Sunday that the US did not encourage Taipei to go for independence from China, though he stressed that Washington would defend the island if China were to attack.
Following the CBS interview, the US media outlet asked the White House to comment on Biden's statement, which an administration official responded to by saying US policy on Taiwan was unchanged.
Tensions soared between China and Taiwan in July, reaching their highest in decades, due to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island after Beijing warned both Washington and Taipei against such a trip.
The bipartisan trip sparked a caustic response from Beijing, which said it had carried out "combat readiness patrol and combat drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan island."
In response to the delegation's visit, Beijing called on Washington to "stop going further down the wrong path of hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, so as not to cause further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."
Since early August, China has carried out several large-scale military exercises near Taiwan in response to the visits of high-ranking US officials to the island.
The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense confirmed in late August that it bought a new batch of the US Javelin anti-tank missiles and announced that it was planning on increasing its order of the HIMARS rocket systems amid heightened tensions with China.
Taiwan announced a week prior plans on increasing its security budget in light of rising tensions with Beijing, especially due to the latest developments that drove a wider wedge between China and Taipei.
Taipei proposed a security budget of $13.7 billion for 2023, marking a 13% year-on-year increase, pending parliamentary approval.
The island will also create a special budget allocated specifically for the acquisition of fighter jets and other aircraft and naval vessels to boost its capabilities in the maritime and aerial arenas.