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MANILA: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of “irresponsible steps” on Saturday (Aug 6) by halting key communication channels with Washington, and said its Taiwan actions showed a move from prioritising peaceful resolution towards the use of force.

His comments came as Chinese aircraft and warships practised on Saturday for an attack on Taiwan, island officials said, part of a raft of steps taken by Beijing after a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week.

China’s retaliation in stopping bilateral processes in eight key areas including defence, narcotics, transnational crime and climate change were moves that would punish the world, not just the United States, Blinken told a news conference in Manila.

“Those include several military to military channels, which are vital for avoiding miscommunication and avoid crisis,” he said.

“Suspending climate cooperation doesn’t punish the United States, it punishes the world, particularly the developing world. We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries.”

Tackling climate change has been a key area of cooperation between the two superpowers and two biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.