China severs military and climate ties with US over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

China is halting cooperation with the United States in a number of areas, including senior military commander dialogue and climate talks, in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China’s foreign ministry also said it was suspending cooperation with Washington for the prevention of cross-border crime and drug trafficking and for the repatriation of illegal migrants, in addition to eight specific measures.

In a statement released shortly after Ms. Pelosi left Japan on the final leg of her Asian tour, China also canceled a planned bilateral meeting on a maritime military security mechanism.

Beijing separately announced that it would personally punish Ms Pelosi and her immediate family in response to her “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 statement said. A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Furious after Ms. Pelosi became the highest-ranking US visitor in 25 years to the self-governed island that Beijing considers its sovereign territory, China launched military exercises in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday.

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People gathered to watch China’s missiles fly overhead.

No reason for extreme military reaction

The live fire drills, the largest China has ever conducted in the Taiwan Strait, will continue until noon on Sunday.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Friday it crashed fighter jets to warn Chinese planes that it was entering the island’s air defense zone, some of which crossed the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial buffer separating the two sides.

The ministry said a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 naval vessels had conducted missions in the strait.

China’s Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement that its army conducted air and sea exercises in northern, southwest and eastern Taiwan on Friday “to test the troops’ combined combat capabilities.”

Man waves while getting off the plane.
Antony Blinken said the US would take no action to provoke a crisis with China.(AP: Andrew Harnik)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington has repeatedly made it clear to Beijing that it was not seeking a crisis over Ms Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Wednesday.

“There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response,” he said at a news conference on the sidelines of the regional ASEAN meetings in Cambodia, adding: “now they have taken dangerous acts to a new level” .

Mr Blinken stressed that the United States would take no action to provoke a crisis, but would continue to support regional allies and operate standard air and sea transportation across the Taiwan Strait.

“We will fly, sail and operate where international law allows,” he said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a media briefing after the ASEAN meetings: “I have heard that US Secretary of State Blinken held his press conference and spread some misinformation and did not speak truthfully.”

“We want to warn the United States: don’t act hastily, don’t create a bigger crisis,” Wang said.

Woman in blue suit shakes hand with man in black suit with American and Japanese flags in the background.
Nancy Pelosi met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida before returning to Washington.(Reuters: Kyodo News)

Pelosi concludes controversial Asia tour

Speaking in Japan before leaving for Washington, Ms. Pelosi said her trip to Asia was never about changing the regional status quo.

“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.

The White House on Thursday subpoenaed Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang to condemn the escalating actions against Taiwan, the Washington Post reported.

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