China Halts Climate, Military Ties Over Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit


China said on Friday it will cancel or suspend talks with the United States on a range of issues, from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts, in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by the US House of Representatives speaker. United States, Nancy Pelosi.

The moves, which come amid deteriorating relations between Beijing and Washington, are the latest in a series of promised steps aimed at punishing the United States for allowing the visiting island it claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China on Thursday launched threatening military exercises in six areas off Taiwan’s coast that it says will last until Sunday.

Missiles have also been fired on Taiwan, defense officials told state media. China opposes the self-governing island having its own contacts with foreign governments, but its response to Pelosi’s visit has been unusually vociferous.

The Foreign Ministry said the dialogue between regional commanders and the heads of the US and Chinese defense departments would be cancelled, along with talks on military maritime security.

Cooperation on the return of illegal immigrants, criminal investigations, transnational crime, illegal drugs and climate change will be suspended, the ministry said.

China said on Friday that more than 100 fighter jets and 10 warships took part in the live-fire military exercises that surrounded Taiwan in the past two days, announcing mainly symbolic sanctions against the speaker of the US House of Representatives. USA, Nancy Pelosi, and her family for her visit to Taiwan earlier this month. week.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were used in what it called “joint blockade operations.”

The army’s Eastern Theater Command also fired new versions of missiles that it said hit unidentified targets in the Taiwan Strait “with precision.”

Rocket Force also fired projectiles over Taiwan into the Pacific, military officials told state media, in a major increase in China’s threats to attack and invade the island.

The drills, which Xinhua described as being conducted on an “unprecedented scale,” are China’s most strident response to Pelosi’s visit. The speaker is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Dialogue and exchanges between China and the US, particularly on military and economic matters, have generally stalled at best. However, climate change and combating the trade in illegal drugs such as fentanyl were areas where they had found common cause, and Beijing’s suspension of cooperation could have significant implications for efforts to make progress on the issue. this topics.

China and the United States are the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 climate polluters, together producing nearly 40% of all fossil fuel emissions. Its top climate diplomats, John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua, had a cordial relationship dating back to the Paris climate accord, made possible by a negotiated breakthrough between the two and others.

At Kerry’s insistence, China pledged at last year’s UN global climate summit in Glasgow to work with the US “urgently” to cut climate-destroying emissions, but Kerry was unable to persuade it to speed up. significantly China’s abandonment of coal.

On the Chinese coast off Taiwan, tourists gathered Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft heading toward the exercise area.

Fighter jets could be heard flying overhead and tourists taking photos chanted, “Let’s take back Taiwan,” looking out over the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan Island, a popular scenic spot in Fujian province.

Pelosi’s visit aroused emotions among the Chinese public and the government’s response “makes us feel that our motherland is very powerful and gives us confidence that the return of Taiwan is an irresistible trend,” said Wang Lu, a tourist from the province. neighboring Zhejiang.

China is a “powerful country and will not allow anyone to offend its own territory,” said Liu Bolin, a high school student visiting the island.

His mother, Zheng Zhidan, was somewhat more circumspect.

“We are compatriots and hope to live in peace,” Zheng said. “We should live in peace with each other.”

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and its threat to use force to bring it under its control have featured prominently in the propaganda of the ruling Communist Party, education system, and fully state-controlled media for over seven decades since the sides split amid civil conflict. war in 1949.

Taiwanese residents are overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject China’s demands that the island be unified with the mainland under communist control.

On Friday morning, China sent military ships and warplanes through the median line of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said, crossing what had for decades been an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan. .

Five of the missiles fired by China since the military exercises began Thursday fell in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma, an island far to the south of Japan’s main islands, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. He said that Japan protested the missile launches in China as “serious threats to the national security of Japan and the security of the Japanese people.”

Japan’s Defense Ministry later said it believes another four missiles fired from China’s southeast coast of Fujian flew over Taiwan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that China’s military exercises targeting Taiwan pose a “serious problem” that threatens regional peace and security.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s actions were in line with “international law and international practice”, although she provided no evidence.

“As for the Exclusive Economic Zone, China and Japan have not carried out maritime delimitation in relevant waters, so there is no Japan EEZ,” Hua told reporters at a daily briefing.

In Tokyo, where Pelosi is wrapping up her Asia trip, she said China cannot prevent US officials from visiting Taiwan. Kishida, speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and his congressional delegation, said missile launches must “stop immediately.”

China said it had summoned European diplomats to the country to protest statements issued by the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the European Union criticizing Chinese military exercises surrounding Taiwan.

His Foreign Ministry said Friday that Vice Minister Deng Li made “solemn representations” about what he called “unbridled interference in China’s internal affairs.”

Deng said China would “prevent the country from being divided with the strongest determination, using all means and at any cost.”

The ministry said the meeting was held on Thursday night, but did not provide information on which countries participated. Earlier Thursday, China canceled a foreign ministers’ meeting with Japan to protest the G7’s statement that there was no justification for the exercises.

Both ministers were attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.

China has promoted the foreign support it has received for its response to Pelosi’s visit, mainly from other authoritarian states such as Russia, Syria and North Korea.

China had previously summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to protest Pelosi’s visit. The speaker left Taiwan on Wednesday after meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and holding other public events. He traveled to South Korea and then to Japan. Both countries host US military bases and could be drawn into a conflict involving Taiwan.

The Chinese exercises involve troops from the navy, air force, rocket force, strategic support force and logistic support force, according to Xinhua.

They are believed to be the largest near Taiwan geographically and the closest in proximity, within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the island.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday called the drills a “significant escalation” and said he urged Beijing to back down.

US law requires the government to treat threats to Taiwan, including blockades, as matters of “serious concern.”

The exercises are an echo of the last major Chinese military exercises aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters in 1995 and 1996.

Taiwan has put its military on alert and held civil defense exercises, but the general mood remained calm on Friday. Flights have been canceled or diverted and fishermen have remained in port to avoid Chinese drills.

In the northern port of Keelung, Lu Chuan-hsiong, 63, was enjoying his morning swim on Thursday and said he was not worried.

“Everyone should want money, not bullets,” Lu said.


Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington, DC, contributed to this report.

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