China says it is canceling or suspending dialogue with the US on issues from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Beijing has also imposed sanctions on it.
The measures announced Friday are the latest in a promised series of steps aimed at punishing Washington for allowing the visit to the island it claims as its territory to annex by force if necessary. China opposes the self-governing island having its own engagements with foreign governments.
For the second day in a row, China sent warplanes and warships into the Taiwan Strait as part of its biggest live-fireagainst Taiwan ever, CBS News’ Ramy Inocencio reports.
China will “suspend China-US climate change talks” and cancel two security meetings and a call between military leaders due to Pelosi’s “ignorance of China’s strong opposition and strict representatives”, the Chinese ministry said on Friday of Foreign Affairs, according to the French Agency. Press.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were used in what it called “joint blockade operations” in six zones off Taiwan’s coast. On Thursday, state media reported that China’s People’s Liberation Army had deployed more than 100 warplanes, 10 warships and a nuclear-powered submarine.
Before the sanctions against Pelosi were announced, she told reporters in Japan that the Chinese government would not dictate who could travel to the island.
“They may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places. But they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from traveling there,” Pelosi said.
He later added, “We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan. They don’t schedule our trips. The Chinese government doesn’t do that.”
Overnight, the White House summoned the Chinese ambassador to say the US does not want a crisis in the region and to condemn Beijing’s escalation against Taiwan, according to the Washington Post.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking sitting US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, since Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997, Inocencio reports.
This week’s military exercises are seen by experts as a test run of a possible future invasion of Taiwan, with China encircling the island with precision-guided missiles in six areas around the coast, Inocencio says.
Xinhua reported on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all used in what it called “joint blockade operations” in the six zones.
The military’s Eastern Theater Command also launched new versions of missiles it said hit unidentified targets in the Taiwan Strait “accurately.” These included missiles fired over Taiwan in the Pacific, military officers told state media, in a major escalation of Chinese threats to annex the island.
On the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that China’s military exercises targeting Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation” that prompted Beijing to back down.
Blinken said Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in US policy – a “one China” position of recognizing the government in Beijing while allowing informal relations and defense ties with Taipei – accusing China of using the visit as “a pretext for increasing provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”
He said the situation led to a “robust communication” during East Asia summits in Phnom Penh, attended by both himself and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi along with ASEAN nations, Russia and others.
“I reiterated the points we made publicly and directly to the Chinese counterparts in recent days, that they should not use the visit as a pretext for war, for escalation, for provocative actions, that there is no possible justification. for what they have done and we urge them to stop these actions,” he said.
Blinken did not sit down one-on-one with Wang, but said he had already spoken with the Chinese foreign minister about the possibility of Pelosi visiting Taiwan before it took place during meetings in Bali, and had made the US position clear.
Pelosi was met with euphoria as the first US House speaker and high-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in more than 25 years.
Despite the aggressive Chinese response to the visit, Blinken said the US also would not change its “commitment to the security of our allies in the region” and that the Defense Department had instructed the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group to “remain on station in general space for monitoring the situation’.
“We will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” he said. “We will continue to conduct routine air and sea crossings through the Taiwan Strait, in line with our longstanding approach of working with allies and partners to maintain freedom of navigation and overflight.”