China has imposed unspecified sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As the Foreign Ministry reported on Friday in Beijing, the punitive measures are also aimed at direct family members of Pelosi.
“Despite China’s serious concerns and staunch resistance, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China’s internal affairs, undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling on the one-China policy, and safeguarding cross-strait peace and stability to threaten,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing justified the step on Friday.
The ministry accused the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, who is second in line to succeeding the US President after the Vice President, of having acted “viciously” and “provocatively”.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was the highest-ranking US visit to Taipei in a quarter-century. She took her visit as a sign of solidarity. In response, China launched the largest military maneuvers to date in the waters off Taiwan on Thursday.
The communist leadership refuses such official contacts with Taiwan because they claim the island for themselves. Beijing sees self-governing Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic and threatens to conquer it. The 23 million Taiwanese, on the other hand, see themselves as independent.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of wanting to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait with the missile tests and military exercises. At a meeting of the Southeast Asian international community Asean in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Blinken said there was no justification for the military provocations after Pelosi’s peaceful visit to Taiwan, as quoted by a Western representative, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called the maneuvers and missile exercises “irresponsible”. In a video address, the President urged the Chinese leadership to exercise common sense and restraint. Taiwan will not escalate tensions but wants to maintain the status quo. The President thanked the Group of seven leading democratic economic powers (G7) for their support.
The G7 had expressed concern and stressed that there was no reason to use a visit as a pretext “for aggressive military activities”. In Beijing, ambassadors from EU countries and Japan, as well as EU representatives, were summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where they were handed a formal protest against the G7 statement. Germany currently holds the presidency of the G7.