China said it was canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on issues from climate change to military ties and anti-drug efforts in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week. Beijing also imposed sanctions on it.
The measures announced Friday are the latest in a series of promised steps aimed at punishing Washington for allowing visits to the island it claims to be its territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China opposes the establishment of the self-governing island in its ties with foreign governments.
For the second day in a row, China has sent warplanes and naval ships into the Taiwan Strait as part of its largest live fire.Against Taiwan at all, CBS News’ Rami Inocencio reports.
On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China would “suspend Sino-US talks on climate change”, cancel two security meetings and a call between military leaders due to Pelosi’s “ignoring of China’s strong opposition and its tough statements.” Click.
The official Xinhua News Agency said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all used in what it called “joint siege operations” in six areas off the coast of Taiwan. On Thursday, state media said the 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 can travel to the island.
“They may try to prevent Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places,” Pelosi said. “But they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us from traveling there.”
She later added, “We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan. They are not doing our travel schedule. The Chinese government does not.”
Overnight, the White House summoned the Chinese ambassador to inform him that the United States did 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 US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, since Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997, Inocencio reports.
Experts see this week’s military exercises as a test run for a possible future invasion of Taiwan, as China encircles the island with precision-guided missiles in six areas around the coast, says Inocencio.
Xinhua said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all used in what it called “joint siege operations” in the six regions.
The Army’s Eastern Theater Command also launched new versions of the missiles, which it said “accurately” hit unknown targets in the Taiwan Strait. Military officers told state media that those missiles included shells fired over Taiwan toward the Pacific Ocean, in a major escalation of China’s 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 Anthony Blinken told reporters that Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan, including missile launches at Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represented a “major escalation” and that he had urged Beijing to back off.
Blinken said Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in US policy – the “one China” position of recognizing the government in Beijing, while allowing informal and defense ties with Taipei – accusing China of using the visit as “a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.” .
He said the situation led to “strong communication” during the East Asia Summit meetings in Phnom Penh, in which he and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, along with ASEAN countries, Russia and other countries participated.
“I have reiterated the points we have made publicly as well as directly to our Chinese counterparts in recent days, once again, about the fact that they should not use the visit as a pretext for war, escalation and provocative actions, and that there is no possible justification for what they have done and urge them to desist.”
Blinken did not sit alone with Wang, but said he had already spoken with the Chinese foreign minister about the possibility of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan before it took place during meetings in Bali, and made clear the US position.
Pelosi was given a warm welcome as the first female speaker of the House of Representatives and the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in more than 25 years.
Despite the aggressive Chinese reaction to the visit, Blinken said the United States would not alter its “commitment to the security of our allies in the region,” and that the Department of Defense had ordered the USS Ronald Reagan carrier group “to remain in the public domain to monitor the situation.”
“We will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” he said. “We will continue to conduct standard air and sea transits across the Taiwan Strait, consistent with our long-term approach to working with allies and partners in support of freedom of navigation and overflight.”