China has said it is canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on issues ranging from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by the Speaker of the United States House. States, Nancy Pelosi. Beijing also imposed sanctions on him.
The measures announced on Friday are the latest in a series of measures promised to punish Washington for allowing the visit to the island it claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China opposes the self-governing island having its own engagements with foreign governments.
For a second day in a row, China sent warplanes and warships into the Taiwan Strait in its biggest ever live fire military exercises ever against Taiwan, reports CBS News’ Ramy Inocencio.
China will “suspend China-US climate change talks” and cancel two security meetings and a call between military leaders because of Pelosi’s “contempt for China’s strong opposition and harsh portrayals,” the official said on Friday. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Agence France-Presse.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates had all been used in what it called “joint blockade operations” in six areas off Taiwan’s coast. On Thursday, state media said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had deployed more than 100 fighter jets, 10 warships and a nuclear-powered submarine.
Before the announcement of sanctions against Pelosi, she told reporters in Japan that the Chinese government would not dictate who could travel to the island.
“They may try to stop Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places. But they won’t isolate Taiwan by stopping us from traveling there,” Pelosi said.
She later added, “We will not allow them to isolate Taiwan. They don’t respect our travel schedule. The Chinese government does not.
Following China’s actions overnight, the White House summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang to make it clear “Beijing’s actions are of concern to Taiwan, to us and to our partners around the world,” the coordinator said. strategic communications of the National Security Council, John Kirby, in a press release. statement on Friday.
“We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible, at odds with our longstanding goal of maintaining peace and stability in and across the Taiwan Strait,” Kirby said. He added that the White House had made it clear that “nothing has changed in our one China policy” and that the United States “is prepared for whatever Beijing chooses to do. no crisis”.
“At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, in accordance with international law, as we have done for decades – supporting Taiwan and championing a free and open Indo-Pacific. “Kirby added.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years since Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997, Inocencio reports.
This week’s military drills are seen by experts as a test run for a possible future invasion of Taiwan, with China encircling the island with precision-guided missiles in six areas around the coast, Inocencio said.
Xinhua said Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all being used in what it called “joint blockade operations” in the six areas.
The army’s Eastern Theater Command also fired new versions of the missiles which it said hit unidentified targets in the Taiwan Strait “with precision”. These included projectiles fired over Taiwan in the Pacific, military officers told state media, in a major increase in 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 Antony Blinken told reporters that Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation” and that he urged Beijing to back down.
Blinken said Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in US policy – a “one China” stance of recognizing the government in Beijing, while allowing informal relations and defensive ties with Taipei – accusing China of using the visit as a “pretext to increase provocative military activities in and around the Taiwan Strait.” »
He said the situation led to “vigorous communication” at the East Asia Summit meetings in Phnom Penh that he and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended with ASEAN countries. , Russia and others.
“I reiterated the points we have made publicly as well as directly to our Chinese counterparts over the past few days, yet again, that they should not use the visit as a pretext for war, escalation, to provocative actions, that there is no possible justification for what they have done and urge them to stop these actions,” he said.
Blinken did not sit one-on-one with Wang, but said he had already spoken with China’s foreign minister about the possibility of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan before she had took place in meetings in Bali, and that he had clarified the American position.
Pelosi received a euphoric reception as the first US House speaker and senior US official to visit Taiwan in more than 25 years.
Despite China’s aggressive reaction to the visit, Blinken said the United States would also not alter its “commitment to the security of our allies in the region,” and that the Department of Defense had ordered the group to aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan “to remain in post”. in the general area to monitor the situation.
“We will fly, navigate and operate wherever international law permits,” he said. “We will continue to operate standard air and sea transits across the Taiwan Strait, consistent with our longstanding approach of working with allies and partners to maintain freedom of navigation and overflight.”
Haley Ott and Sara Cook contributed to this report.