The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador to condemn the provocations after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan



CNN

The White House summoned China’s ambassador on Thursday to condemn China’s “irresponsible” military activities near Taiwan as tensions continue to escalate in the region following the visit of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to the island this week.

“Following China’s actions overnight, we summoned PRC Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to brief him on PRC’s provocative actions. We condemn the military actions of the PRC, which are irresponsible, contrary to our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, in a statement to CNN.

The decision to summon Qin came after days of warnings to China not to escalate tensions in the region following the speaker’s visit to the autonomous island, which the Chinese Communist Party regards as its territory even though it has never visited. checked. It represents a change from the White House’s attitude about the trip before it happened, when officials tried to warn Pelosi in private about the possible fallout from the visit and how it could damage US-China relations. the meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.

In the days since Pelosi left Taiwan, China has taken multiple bellicose steps, both diplomatically and militarily.

On the diplomatic front, Beijing is sanctioning Pelosi and her immediate family and said on Friday it would suspend cooperation with Washington on a number of issues, including combating the climate crisis.

the pause in climate talks between the US and China is symbolically significant for the two nations’ bilateral relationship because the climate crisis was one of the few areas in which the US and China continued to cooperate in recent years, even in times of geopolitical tensions. elevated.

The United States and China announced in Glasgow last year a bilateral agreement to cooperate on the climate crisis, widely seen as a progressive step that would allow China to work on key issues, such as cutting methane emissions, without having to join global agreements that had shown. resistance to. The nations’ climate representatives had been in regular communication to build on that agreement.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese warships and planes conducted exercises in waters around the island and Chinese forces crossed the median line, the midpoint between the island and mainland China, in a move the ministry called a “highly provocative act”.

Two Chinese drones also flew near Japan on Thursday, prompting the country’s Air Self-Defense Force to send fighter jets in response, according to a Tokyo Defense Ministry statement.

Kirby said the White House told Qin that the US does not want a crisis in the region and reiterated that there has been no change in the US “One China” policy and that Washington recognizes the People’s Republic. China as the sole legitimate government of China.

“We also make it clear that the United States is prepared for whatever Beijing decides to do. We will not seek and we do not want a 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 for decades, supporting Taiwan and advocating a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kirby said in the release. statement.

NSC coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell met with Qin, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday that the United States has repeatedly conveyed to China that “we do not seek and will not provoke a crisis.” He called China’s recent actions “provocative” and “a significant escalation.”

The speaker’s visit, he said, was “peaceful” and “there is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalated military response.”

Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said the visit, the first time a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years, was intended to make it “unequivocally clear” that the United States “would not abandon” Taipei.

It came at a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a visit to the democratically-ruled island.

The United States maintains close unofficial ties with Taiwan and is required by law to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons. But he remains deliberately vague about whether he would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity.”

The United States postponed a long-planned missile test due to China’s angry reaction to Pelosi’s trip. A US official told CNN that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the Defense Department to postpone the test flight of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile after China launched military exercises.

A senior Chinese embassy official in Washington said Friday that Qin “totally rejected the White House’s alleged condemnation” of China’s cross-strait military actions when summoned.

“The only way out of this crisis is that the US side must take things immediately to rectify its mistakes and remove the serious impact of Pelosi’s visit,” Minister Jing Quan said during a virtual briefing.

Jing reiterated that China views Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “a serious violation of the one-China policy.” He said they view the legislator’s trip as an official US government visit, noting that Pelosi flew on a US government plane. The use of a government plane is standard for congressional delegations, especially for the Speaker of the House who is high in the presidential line of succession.

He argued that Pelosi “knows where China’s red lines are” but said she “still chose to deliberately provoke and challenge China’s position.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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