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China to sanction Pelosi, US calls Chinese military escalation unjustified

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China’s firing of missiles during military exercises around Taiwan was an unwarranted escalation, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, as Beijing said it would impose sanctions on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a visit to the island.

Diplomatic relations continued to decline on Friday, when China’s foreign ministry followed suit by saying it could cancel dialogues between US and Chinese military leaders and suspend bilateral talks on climate and maritime security.

Blinken said Washington has repeatedly made it clear to Beijing that it is not looking for a crisis as diplomatic rows continued this week over Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed island that Beijing considers its sovereign territory.

“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response,” Blinken said during a press conference on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia. He added: “Now they have taken dangerous acts to a new level”.

China launched its largest-ever military exercises in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after Pelosi infuriated Pelosi by making a solidarity trip to the island, the highest US visitor to Taiwan in 25 years. The live fire drills will last until Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, the Chinese military conducted air and sea exercises to the north, southwest and east of Taiwan “to test the troops’ joint combat capabilities,” the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement on its official website. Weibo organization. account.

Blinken stressed that the United States would not take steps to provoke a crisis, but would continue to support regional allies and carry out standard air and sea shipping through the Taiwan Strait.

“We will fly, sail and operate where international law allows,” he said. The White House on Thursday subpoenaed Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang to condemn the escalating actions against Taiwan, the Washington Post reported.

State Department representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China’s cessation of talks or the report Washington had summoned the Beijing ambassador. cruel” and “provocative” actions.

“Despite China’s grave concern and firm opposition, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling the One China policy and promoting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is also suspending cooperation on cross-border crime prevention and drug control and cooperation on the repatriation of illegal migrants.

Pelosi said in Japan that her trip to Asia was never about changing the regional status quo.

‘Angry neighbor’

About 10 Chinese naval ships and 20 military aircraft briefly passed through the centerline of the Taiwan Strait on Friday morning, a Taiwanese source told Reuters on the matter.

Earlier, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the island’s military had sent planes, ships and deployed missile systems on land to monitor the situation there. On Thursday, during live fire exercises, China fired multiple missiles into the waters around Taiwan in an unprecedented escalation.

Japan’s defense ministry, which is monitoring the exercises, first reported that as many as four of the missiles flew over Taiwan’s capital. It also said five of the nine missiles fired into its territory landed in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), also a first, sparking a diplomatic protest from Tokyo.

Later, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense said the missiles were high in the atmosphere and posed no threat. It did not provide details of their flight routes, citing intelligence concerns. Some residents of Taipei, including Mayor Ko Wen-je, criticized

the government for not issuing a missile alarm, but a security expert said this could have been done to prevent panic and play into China’s hands.

“It counteracted the effect of the Chinese Communist Party’s psychological warfare,” said Mei Fu-shin, a US-based analyst.

“The shock and fear were not as great as they could have been.”

When asked for comment on the missiles, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang did not respond immediately, referring to China as the “evil neighbor who shows off her power at our door.”

“In my view, the bigger threat is that China is practicing for a blockade, showing that it can block Taiwan’s ports and airports and prevent shipping,” said Bonnie Glaser, a Washington-based Asia security specialist at the United Nations. German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Japan’s worries

In response to the Chinese exercises, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan would not provoke conflict but would vigorously defend its sovereignty and national security.

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists took power in Beijing after defeating Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists in a civil war, forcing the KMT-led government to retreat to the island.

Beijing has said relations with Taiwan are an internal matter. It says it reserves the right to bring Taiwan under Chinese control, if necessary by force. In Tokyo, Pelosi addressed the diplomatic furor caused by the congressional delegation’s week-long trip to Asia, especially Taiwan.

“We have said from the beginning that our representation here is not about changing the status quo in Taiwan or the region,” she told a news conference after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“I informed Speaker Pelosi that the fact that China’s ballistic missiles landed near Japanese waters, including EEZ, pose a threat to our national security and that Japan has strongly condemned such actions,” Kishida said.

China’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the ambassador to Japan and a Canadian diplomat to Beijing on Thursday over a “false” statement by the Group of Seven (G7) countries about Taiwan, and had also lodged complaints with EU envoys.

(Reuters)

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