China suspends dialogue with US on climate, drugs, defence | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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China suspends dialogue with US on climate, drugs, defence

By, Beijing
Aug 06, 2022 12:23 AM IST

Besides cancelling or suspending eight bilateral mechanisms over the first visit by a US speaker to the self-ruled island in 25 years, China continued its display of fury against both the US and Taiwan through military drills in the Taiwan Strait that experts have described as unprecedented and highly provocative.

China mounted a diplomatic offensive against the US on Friday, sanctioning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her visit to Taiwan and halting cooperation in crucial areas such as military talks, transnational crimes and climate change.

A Taiwan Air Force aircraft arrives next to a Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet upon landing at Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on Friday. (REUTERS)
A Taiwan Air Force aircraft arrives next to a Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet upon landing at Hsinchu Air Base in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on Friday. (REUTERS)

Besides cancelling or suspending eight bilateral mechanisms over the first visit by a US speaker to the self-ruled island in 25 years, China continued its display of fury against both the US and Taiwan through military drills in the Taiwan Strait that experts have described as unprecedented and highly provocative.

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After announcing Pelosi and her immediate family had been sanctioned, the Chinese foreign ministry unveiled eight “countermeasures” in response to the US leader’s visit to Taiwan in “disregard of China’s strong opposition”. These included cancelling talks between military commanders and the defence ministries, and suspending climate change talks, a crucial area of cooperation despite growing bilateral tensions.

China-US military maritime security consultations were cancelled, while bilateral cooperation on repatriating illegal immigrants, legal assistance in criminal matters, transnational crimes and countering narcotics was suspended, the foreign ministry said.

The ministry said Pelosi had shown “disregard of China’s grave concerns” by visiting Taiwan, the self-ruled democracy China claims as its territory. “This [visit] constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” the ministry said.

Also read: White House summons Chinese envoy over Taiwan provocations, Beijing issues threat

“It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” it added.

A defiant Pelosi, who was in Japan on the last leg of her Asia trip, said after meeting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo that the US will not let China isolate Taiwan. “We have said from the start that our representation here is not about changing the status quo here in Asia, changing the status quo of Taiwan,” she said.

Noting that China could not prevent American officials from travelling to Taiwan, she said: “We will not allow [China] to isolate Taiwan.” The US shouldn’t let commercial interests come in the way of speaking out on China’s human rights issues, Pelosi said, adding Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghurs had been labelled “genocide”.

The White House summoned Chinese ambassador Qin Gang on Thursday to protest China’s “irresponsible” military activities following Pelosi’s visit. As part of its drills in the Taiwan Strait, China fired ballistic missiles on Thursday, some of which overflew Taiwan while others fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, triggering tensions across the region.

The eastern theatre command of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued conducting joint combat exercises and training in the northern, southwestern and eastern waters and airspace off Taiwan.

“Our exercises this time included live-firing tests, and it was the first time they crossed Taiwan island,” Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the National Defence University, told state broadcaster CCTV. Meng claimed missiles fired by PLA passed through airspace where US-made Patriot missiles are stationed.

The latest drills represented the PLA’s closest-ever exercises to the island, its first encirclement and the first time a shooting range was set up east of Taiwan, an AFP report quoted Meng as saying.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported the military “flew more than 100 warplanes” during the exercises, and deployed “over 10 destroyers and frigates”.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said China carried out a record 68 sorties with combat jets and sailed 13 warships around the island on Friday. Many aircraft and vessels crossed the median line — the halfway point between Taiwan and the mainland — to “simulate attacks”. Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu said in a tweet: “This dangerous escalation of the military threat is wrecking peace & stability in the region & must be condemned.”

The island’s armed forces responded with surveillance systems, combat air patrol aircraft, naval vessels and missile systems, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken told reporters in Phnom Penh that China’s exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s EEZ, represent a “significant escalation” and that he has urged Beijing to back down.

Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and didn’t represent a change in American policy toward Taiwan, Blinken said. China shouldn’t use the visit as a “pretext for war, escalation, for provocative actions, that there is no possible justification for what they’ve done”, he added.

Blinken said the US will not change its “commitment to the security of our allies in the region”, and the defense department has ordered the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group “to remain on station in the general area to monitor the situation”. He said, “We’ll continue to conduct standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait, consistent with our long-standing approach to working with allies and partners to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Also read: ‘Avoid such activities’: India-China military talks held over airspace violations

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit and the Chinese government’s response triggered a wave of nationalism in the country, with many citizens closely following developments.

President Xi Jinping and the top leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have expectedly responded with hard rhetoric and large-scale drills, though intense exercises were launched after Pelosi left Taiwan.

Pelosi is among the most senior US politicians to be sanctioned by China in recent years. Such measures usually mean that those sanctioned are forbidden from entering China or doing business with Chinese companies.

In early 2021, China sanctioned former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and 27 other officials who were part of former president Donald Trump’s administration, accusing them of “hatred” against the Chinese and being behind “crazy” moves to harm its interests in Xinjiang.

Separately, China’s vice foreign minister Deng Li summoned several European envoys and the Japanese ambassador on Friday over a “negative statement” by the G7 and the EU foreign policy chief on Taiwan. “China firmly opposes the G7 statement and staged a solemn representation, Deng told the envoys who were summoned,” according to a statement issued by the ministry.

“As one-China principle is universally recognised, basic rules for international relations and global consensus, which also serve as the political foundation for China’s relations with those countries and the absolute red line and bottom line that can’t be crossed,” Deng was quoted as saying.

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