China actions around Taiwan unjustified, disproportionate and provocative - Blinken

By David Brunnstrom

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) -China's military drills around Taiwan in response to the U.S. house speaker's visit to the self-ruled island is a disproportionate and unjustified escalation, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday.

Blinken said the United States has made it repeatedly clear to China it does not seek a crisis, adding that Washington and its allies were seriously concerned by its latest actions.

China has been conducting the largest-ever military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, including launching live missiles around the island it claims as part of its sovereign territory.

"There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response," Blinken told a news conference on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting, adding, "now, they've taken dangerous acts to a new level."

He emphasised that the United States would not take actions to provoke a crisis, but it would continue to support regional allies and conduct standard air and maritime transit through the Taiwan Strait.