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Thursday, August 11, 2022

China halts talks with US over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – China announced on Friday that it was halting or suspending open talks with the United States on issues ranging from climate change and military ties to the fight against drugs in response to a visit to Taiwan this week. Used to be. , Nancy Pelosi.

The moves come amid souring relations between Beijing and Washington, the latest in a series of actions by China to punish Washington for allowing travel to an island that Chinese officials say. It is part of his territory. And it must be attached, if necessary, by force. In addition, it coincides with the Chinese military’s live-fire exercise in the Taiwan Strait, which began a day after Pelosi’s visit and will end on Sunday.

Chinese military forces also fired missiles at Taiwan, defense officials told state media. China regularly opposes the self-governing island of its own liaison with foreign governments, but Beijing’s response to Pelosi’s visit has been unusually vocal.

The Chinese foreign ministry said talks with regional commanders and heads of US and Chinese defense departments as well as on military maritime security would be canceled.

The ministry said cooperation on the return of illegal immigrants, criminal investigations, transnational crime, drug trafficking and climate change will be suspended.

The ministry said in a statement that it decided on the measures as Pelosi visited Taiwan “despite strong opposition and serious opposition from China.”

China has accused President Joe Biden’s government of attacking Chinese sovereignty, even though Pelosi heads the government’s legislative branch and Biden had no authority to block her visit.

China’s action comes ahead of a major congress of the ruling Communist Party later this year in which President Xi Jinping is expected to win a third five-year term as party leader. With the economy in turmoil, the party has promoted nationalism and launched almost daily attacks on the government of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which refuses to recognize Taiwan as part of China.

Moments earlier on Friday, China said more than 100 aircraft and 10 warships were involved in its military exercises over the past two days, and announced largely symbolic sanctions against Pelosi and his family.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported Friday that fighter jets, bombers, destroyers and warships were used in a so-called “joint blockade operation” in six areas off the coast of Taiwan.

China’s Eastern Military Command also tested new versions of the missiles, which it said hit unidentified targets “with precision” in the Taiwan Strait. Among them were projectiles that flew over the island and landed in the Pacific, military officials told state media, in a major escalation of Beijing’s threat to capture the area by force.

In response to a visit by Pelosi, the highest-ranking US politician to step into Taiwan in 25 years, Xinhua news agency described it as “an unprecedented scale”.

In general, dialogue and exchanges between China and the United States, particularly on military matters and economic exchanges, have at best been halted. However, climate change and combating drug trafficking such as fentanyl were areas where they found common cause, and Beijing’s suspension of cooperation could have significant implications in the fight to make progress in those areas.

China and the United States are the world’s first and second most polluting countries, as they together produce about 40% of all fossil fuel emissions. Its top climate change diplomats, John Kerry and Zi Zhenhua, already have cordial relations with the Paris climate accord, made possible by the success of negotiations between them and others.

Under Kerry’s urging, China promised to work “immediately” with the United States to cut climate-catastrophic emissions at the United Nations World Climate Summit in Glasgow last year, but Kerry had to convince Beijing to do so. were unable to do so that it significantly accelerated the abandonment of coal.

On the Chinese coast off Taiwan, tourists flocked on Friday to try to spot any military aircraft headed to the practice area. Jets could be heard flying overhead as tourists took pictures and chanted “Take Back Taiwan” while looking out over the strait’s blue waters off Pingtan Island, a popular resort.

Pelosi’s visit caused a backlash among Chinese citizens. Wang Lu, a tourist from neighboring Zhejiang province, said of the government’s response: “It makes us feel that our homeland is very powerful and makes us believe that the return of Taiwan is an unstoppable trend.”

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

His mother, Zheng Zidan, was a little more attentive. “We are compatriots and hope to live in peace,” Zheng said. “We must be at peace with each other.”

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and the danger of using force to bring it under its control has appeared prominently in the propaganda of the ruling Communist Party, in the education system and in the Chinese-controlled media. , since being separated in the civil war of 1949.

The Taiwanese people strongly support maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject Beijing’s demands for unification.

On Friday morning, China moved military ships and warplanes across the midline, Taiwan’s defense ministry said, crossing an informal de-escalation zone between the two sides for decades.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles fired by China since the start of the exercise fell on an island in the extreme south of the archipelago off Hateruma, Japan’s exclusive economic zone. He said Japan opposed these actions towards China as a “serious threat to the national security and security of the Japanese people”.

Japan’s defense ministry later said it believed the other four projectiles fired off the coast of Fujian in southeast China flew over Taiwan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Chinese military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan represent a “serious problem” that threatens peace and security in the region.

In Tokyo, the final stop of Pelosi’s Asian tour, the official said Beijing could not prevent a visit by high-ranking officials from his country to the island. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and the US delegation, Kishida said the missile launch “should be stopped immediately.”

China, on the other hand, said it had called for discussions with European diplomats in the country to oppose statements issued by the Group of Seven and the European Union, which called for its military’s threatening maneuvers around Taiwan. was criticized.

The Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Deputy Minister Deng Li made “serious statements” about “unnecessary interference in China’s internal affairs”.

Deng said China would “stop the division of the country with determination by all means and at any cost.”

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, the meeting took place on Thursday night, but it did not say which countries participated. A day earlier, China canceled a foreign ministers meeting with Japan to protest the G7 statement that the exercise was not appropriate.

Beijing had previously summoned US ambassador Nicholas Burns to protest Pelosi’s visit. The senior official left the island on Wednesday after meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen and attending other public events. He then traveled to South Korea and Japan, which have US military bases and could be drawn into conflict with Taiwan.


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

World Nation News Desk
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