US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China’s missile firing during military exercises around Taiwan an unwarranted escalation. Beijing, on the other hand, said it would impose sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting the Asian island.
Diplomatic relations between the countries took a turn for the worse on Friday as China’s Foreign Ministry said it would cancel talks with US military leaders and suspend bilateral talks on climate and maritime security.
Blinken said Washington has made it clear to Beijing that it is not looking for a crisis. “There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response,” he said, speaking at a press conference during the Asean Regional Forum in Cambodia. He added: “Now, they’ve taken the dangerous acts to a new level.”
China launched the biggest military exercises on record in the seas and skies around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after Pelosi arrived on the island. Live ammunition exercises are scheduled to continue until noon on Sunday (7).
On Friday, the Chinese military carried out air and sea actions in the north, southwest and east of Taiwan “to test the troops’ joint combat capabilities,” the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Command said in a statement.
Blinken emphasized that the United States would not take steps to provoke a crisis, but would continue to support regional allies and conduct standard air and sea transit through the Taiwan Strait.
“We will fly, sail and operate where international law allows,” he declared.
The White House summoned Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang on Thursday to condemn the frequent actions against Taiwan.
State Department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on China’s halt to negotiations or the report that Washington had summoned Beijing’s ambassador.
Penalties to Pelosi
China’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that it would impose sanctions on Pelosi and her family in response to the US House Speaker’s “provocative” actions.
“Despite China’s serious concerns and staunch opposition, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling on the ‘one China’ policy, and threatening the peace and stability of China. Taiwan Strait,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
The ministry also noted that it was suspending cooperation in the prevention of cross-border and anti-drug crime, and cooperation in the repatriation of illegal immigrants.
Source: CNN Brasil