China suspends ties with US military over Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan

China has suspended regular channels of communication with the US military, as well as climate talks between the world’s two largest economies, in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week.

China’s foreign ministry announcement on Friday came after the country’s military sent planes and warships to survey Taiwan’s defenses for a second day.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that multiple groups of Chinese warplanes and warships were operating in the Taiwan Strait area, including on the Taiwan side of the median line — an unofficial strait separation that the US pulled decades ago to reduce the risk. to reduce. of conflicts.

In addition to suspending channels of communication with the US military and bilateral climate change talks, China’s foreign ministry said Beijing would also no longer cooperate with Washington on a range of legal issues, including illegal immigrant repatriation, drug trafficking and other crimes. It added that it did so because Pelosi’s visit had expired “without taking into account China’s strong opposition and serious representations”.

China’s foreign ministry said earlier Friday afternoon that it would impose unspecified sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family.

President Xi Jinping’s government initially turned its anger entirely on Taiwan, with an unprecedented series of military exercises in six zones surrounding the island and halting trade in a range of goods. The exercises started a day after Pelosi left Taiwan for South Korea and Japan.

China's military live fire drills in March 1996 and August 2022

The worst crisis in the Straits in nearly 60 years has prompted one of Taiwan’s richest men to donate millions of dollars to his security.

Robert Tsao, founder of contract chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp, announced that he would contribute NT$3 billion ($100 million) to the defense of Taiwan.

“Now that the Chinese Communist Party is acting so despotically towards Taiwan, maybe they think Taiwanese are all afraid of death and lust for money?” he said at a fiery press conference. “But I hope … we stand up and fight to defend freedom, democracy and human rights.”

Tsao previously told Taiwanese media that his two sons would return to the country if China invaded. His latest comments were the strongest by the high-profile businessman in Taiwan’s tech hardware sector since the military exercises began this week.

On the final stop of her five-country tour, Pelosi met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who condemned China’s missile launches and called for an immediate end to military exercises.

Pelosi said at a news conference that while the visit to Taiwan was not intended to change the status quo, it took place against the background of repeated attempts by China to isolate Taiwan from the rest of the world.

Some of the missiles launched by China landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Chinese official media, meanwhile, tried to gain support for the exercises following an international response. An op-ed in the military spokesman PLA Daily said the exercises were aimed at “deterrence” after Taiwan and the US colluded to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, echoing Beijing’s insistence that Washington was ultimately responsible for provoking of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defense University in Beijing, claimed that a US aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, was forced to retreat several hundred kilometers after the People’s Liberation Army set up a firing range east of Taiwan.

Pelosi’s journey through Asia has also highlighted the diplomatic dilemma for regional leaders caught in the tension between the world’s two largest economies. On Thursday, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declined to meet Pelosi during her visit to Seoul, as his government has come under increasing Chinese pressure over its commercial and defense relations with the US.

The apparent punch was applauded by Chinese media and netizens. “Pelosi doesn’t seem to be popular in Seoul,” wrote the Chinese state nationalist tabloid Global Times.

Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing

Video: Will China and US go to war over Taiwan?

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