Russian foreign minister: U.S. ‘playing with fire around Taiwan’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the United States of “playing with fire around Taiwan” in a speech to the U. N. General Assembly on Saturday.

“They are promising military support to Taiwan,” Lavrov said. “Clearly, the notorious Monroe Doctrine is becoming global in scope. Washington is trying to turn the entire world into its own backyard.”

The Monroe Doctrine — a 19th century U.S. policy that forbid further European colonization of Latin America — essentially established a U.S. sphere of influence over the Western Hemisphere.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have remained heightened since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a controversial visit to Taiwan last month. Beijing launched a series of military drills in the Taiwan strait following Pelosi’s visit, with Taiwan accusing China of rehearsing an invasion of the island.

President Biden affirmed in a recent interview with “60 Minutes” that the U.S. would defend Taiwan against an attack. However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned at the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday that “any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history.”

The U.S. has maintained its “one China” policy since reestablishing relations with Beijing in the late 1970s. Under the policy, the U.S. walks a fine line, recognizing Beijing as the sole legal Chinese government while maintaining an unofficial relationship with Taiwan.

In his speech, Lavrov also more broadly railed against the U.S. and its allies, calling the European Union an “authoritarian, harsh, dictatorial entity” and harshly criticizing U.S. foreign policy.

“At some point in the past, declaring that they were victorious in the Cold War, Washington erected themselves into an almost envoy of God on Earth, without any obligations but only the sacred right to act with impunity whenever and wherever they want,” he said. “And this can be done anywhere, against any state, especially if they’ve somehow displeased the self-proclaimed masters of the world.”

Regarding Russia specifically, Lavrov claimed “the official Russophobia in the West is unprecedented now, the scope is grotesque.”

“They are not shying away from declaring the intent to inflict not only military defeat on our country but also to destroy and fracture Russia,” he said.

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