China sanctions Pelosi and sends 100 fighter jets to Taiwan
BEIJING (AP) — China has said it is canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on issues ranging from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for the president’s visit to Taiwan this week. of the United States House, Nancy Pelosi.
The measures announced on Friday are the latest in a series of measures promised to punish Washington for allowing the visitation of the island it claims as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China is holding threatening military exercises in six areas off the coast of Taiwan.
Missiles were also fired over Taiwan, defense officials told state media. China opposes the self-governing island having its own engagements with foreign governments.
The Foreign Ministry said the dialogue between area commanders and heads of defense departments would be cancelled, along with talks on military maritime security. Cooperation on the return of illegal immigrants, criminal investigations, transnational crime, illicit drugs and climate change will be suspended, the ministry said.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.
BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships had taken part in live-fire military exercises around Taiwan in the past two days, while announcing sanctions against of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her visit to the Home Rule. the island earlier this week.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all used in what it called “joint blockade operations” taking place in six areas off the coast of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.
The army’s Eastern Theater Command also fired new versions of the missiles which it said hit unidentified targets in the Taiwan Strait “with precision”.
Rocket Force also fired projectiles over Taiwan in the Pacific, military officers told state media, in a major increase in threats from China to attack and invade the island.
The drills, which Xinhua described as being held on an “unprecedented scale”, are China’s response to a visit this week by Pelosi to Taiwan. The speaker is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Pelosi has courted Beijing’s wrath with the visit. (CNN, SENATE TV, TWITTER | @SPEAKERPELOSI, TAIWAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, TAIWAN POOL, TAIWAN PARLIAMENT)
China announced unspecified sanctions against Pelosi and his family. These sanctions are usually essentially symbolic in nature.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said Pelosi had ignored China’s grave concerns and resolute opposition to his visit. He called Pelosi’s visit provocative and said it undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China opposes Taiwan having its own engagements with foreign governments.
On the Chinese coast opposite Taiwan, tourists gathered on Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft heading towards the exercise area.
Fighter jets could be heard flying overhead and photo tourists chanting “Let’s take back Taiwan,” gazing out over the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan Island, a popular scenic spot in Fujian province. .
Pelosi’s visit stirred emotions among the Chinese public, and the government’s response “makes us feel that our motherland is very powerful and gives us confidence that Taiwan’s return is the irresistible trend,” said Wang Lu, a tourist from the neighboring province of Zhejiang.
China is a “powerful country and it will not allow anyone to offend its own territory”, said Liu Bolin, a high school student who visits the island.
Her mother, Zheng Zhidan, was a bit more circumspect.
“We are compatriots and hope to live in peace,” Zheng said. “We should live in peace with each other.”
China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and the threat to use force to bring it under its control have featured prominently in the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda, education system and fully controlled media. by the state for more than seven decades since the parties split amid civil war. in 1949.
The island’s residents overwhelmingly favor maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject China’s demands for Taiwan to unify with the Communist-controlled mainland.
On Friday morning, China sent military ships and warplanes across the center line of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said, crossing what had for decades been an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan.
Five of the missiles fired by China since the start of military exercises on Thursday have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, an island in the southernmost part of Japan’s main islands, the Japanese defense minister said. Nobuo Kishi. He said Japan had protested the missile landings in China, calling them “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”
Japan’s Defense Ministry later said it believed the other four missiles, fired from China’s southeast coast of Fujian, flew over Taiwan.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan posed a “serious problem” that threatens regional peace and security.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China’s actions were in line with “international law and international practice”, although she offered no evidence.
“As for the exclusive economic zone, China and Japan have not carried out maritime delimitation in the relevant waters, so there is no EEZ of Japan,” Hua told reporters during a briefing. daily press briefing.
In Tokyo, where Pelosi ends her Asia trip, she said China could not stop US officials from visiting Taiwan. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and his congressional delegation, Kishida said the missile launches must be “stopped immediately”.
President Nancy Pelosi is the highest U.S. official in 25 years to visit Taiwan. (CNN, POOL, NBC News, UNTV, Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CCTV)
China said it had summoned European diplomats to the country to protest against statements issued by the Group of Seven and the European Union criticizing threatening Chinese military exercises around Taiwan.
On Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Vice Minister Deng Li had made “solemn representations” over what it called “wanton interference in China’s internal affairs”.
Deng said China would “prevent the country from breaking apart with the utmost determination, using all means and at all costs.”
“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is blatant political manipulation and a flagrant and serious violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Deng said. “In response to the US-Taiwanese collusion and provocation, China’s counterattack is quite natural.”
China’s Foreign Ministry said the meeting was held on Thursday evening but gave no information on which countries attended. Earlier Thursday, China canceled a foreign ministers’ meeting with Japan to protest the G-7’s statement that there was no justification for the drills.
The two ministers were attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.
China has promoted the foreign support it received for its response to Pelosi’s visit, mostly from other authoritarian states such as Russia and North Korea.
China previously summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to protest Pelosi’s visit. The speaker left Taiwan on Wednesday after meeting President Tsai Ing-wen and holding other public events. She traveled to South Korea and then to Japan. Both countries host US military bases and could be drawn into a conflict involving Taiwan.
The Chinese drills involve troops from the navy, air force, rocket force, strategic support force and logistics support force, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
They are thought to be the largest detainees near Taiwan in geographical terms, with Beijing announcing six exercise areas around the island.
His visit to the island has raised tensions between China and the United States. (Taiwan Pool via CNN)
On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the exercises a “significant escalation” and said he had urged Beijing to back down.
Blinken told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with ASEAN in Cambodia that Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in US policy towards Taiwan, accusing China of using it as a “pretext to increase ‘provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait’. .”
He said the situation had led to “vigorous communication” at the East Asia Summit meetings in Phnom Penh that he and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended with ASEAN countries. , Russia and others.
US law requires the government to treat threats against Taiwan, including blockades, as matters of “grave concern”.
The exercises are due to run from Thursday to Sunday and include missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island in an echo of the last major Chinese military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters in 1995 and 1996.
Taiwan has put its military on high alert and held civil defense drills, but the general mood remained calm on Friday. Flights were canceled or diverted and fishermen remained in port to avoid Chinese maneuvers.
In the northern port of Keelung, Lu Chuan-hsiong, 63, was enjoying his morning swim on Thursday, saying he was not worried.
“Everyone should want money, not bullets,” Lu said.
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