In response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, China suspended dialogue and cooperation on multiple agreements, including on climate change
A day after China said it was ending dialogue with the US on a host of critical issues including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military issues, in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan, Taipei accused the Chinese army of simulating an attack on its main island.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had sent ‘multiple’ warships and aircraft into the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.
According to the ministry, Taiwan fired flares on Friday night as a warning to seven drones that were sighted over the Kinmen Islands along China’s eastern coast and other unidentified aircraft flying over Matsu Islands.
“Possible simulated attack,” the ministry said.
China has been conducting large-scale military drills following Pelosi’s brief visit to the self-ruled island claimed by China as its own. Pelosi’s visit infuriated Beijing which started unprecedented military drills, including firing ballistic missiles over the capital, Taipei, a move condemned by the US and other Western allies.
China sanctions Nancy Pelosi for her visit to Taiwan; Japan calls Chinese missiles 'serious problem'
The Chinese media has said the drills, which started this week, are part of war plan rehearsals. China is scheduled to continue the exercises until midday on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Despite Chinese warnings, Pelosi visited Taiwan on Wednesday, becoming the highest-level US visitor in 25 years to the island
Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to retake it by force, if necessary.
Reacting furiously to Pelosi’s visit, China suspended dialogue and cooperation on multiple agreements, including on climate change.
Last year, the two superpowers, who are also the world's two largest polluters, pledged to collaborate on accelerating climate action this decade. The two countries vowed to meet regularly to "address the climate crisis".
Reacting to China’s decision, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said the world required the two superpowers to continue to work together.
"For the secretary-general, there is no way to solve the most pressing problems of all the world without an effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries," AFP quoted Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman, as saying.
China's foreign ministry also announced its decision to suspend exchanges on countering cross-border crime and drug trafficking, a move termed by the US as ‘irresponsible’.
Measures taken by China also include cancellation of future phone calls and meetings between the defence leaders of the two countries, for which future dates had not been announced, CNN reported.
China has also cancelled the annual naval meetings under the China-US military maritime consultation mechanism.
Sanctions on Pelosi
China also imposed sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family in response to what the Chinese foreign ministry described as an “egregious provocation.”
“In response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement, however, did not provide specific details about the nature of the sanctions on the US House Speaker.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)