China stops climate, military ties over visit to Pelosi Taiwan

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BEIJING — China said Friday it was canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on a range of issues, from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts, in retaliation for a visit to Taiwan this week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The measures, stemming from tightening relations between Beijing and Washington, are the latest in a promised series of steps designed to punish the US for allowing visitors to visit the island it claims as its own territory, if necessary. can be forcibly annexed. China started Thursday with threatening military exercises in six zones just off the coast of Taiwan, which it says will last until Sunday.

Missiles have also been fired over Taiwan, defense officials told state media. China opposes the self-governing island having its own contacts with foreign governments, but its response to the Pelosi visit has been extremely vocal.

The State Department said dialogue between US and Chinese regional commanders and heads of defense departments would be canceled, along with talks on military maritime security.

Cooperation on illegal immigrant return, criminal investigation, cross-border crime, illegal drugs and climate change will be suspended, the ministry said.

China said Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships have participated in live-fire military exercises around Taiwan over the past two days, while announcing mostly symbolic sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her family during her visit to Taiwan earlier this month. 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.”

The military’s Eastern Theater Command has also fired new versions of missiles that it said hit unidentified targets in the Taiwan Strait “with precision.”

The Rocket Force also fired projectiles over Taiwan in the Pacific, military officers told state media, in a major boost to China’s threats to attack and invade the island.

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The exercises, which Xinhua said were conducted on an “unprecedented scale,” are China’s most strident response to Pelosi’s visit. The speaker is the most senior American politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Dialogue and exchanges between China and the US, especially on military affairs and economic exchanges, have generally stalled at best. However, climate change and combating the trafficking of illicit drugs such as fentanyl were areas where they had found common causes, and Beijing’s suspension of cooperation could have significant implications for efforts to make progress in addressing these issues.

On the Chinese coast opposite Taiwan, tourists gathered on Friday to catch a glimpse of a military plane headed for the training area.

You could hear fighter jets flying overhead and tourists taking pictures chanting, “Let’s take Taiwan back,” looking out over the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan Island, a popular scenic spot in Fujian Province.

Pelosi’s visit sparked 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 neighboring Zhejiang Province.

China is a “powerful country and it will not allow anyone to insult its own territory,” said Liu Bolin, a high school student visiting the island.

His mother, Zheng Zhidan, was a little more cautious.

“We are compatriots and we hope to live in peace,” Zheng said. “We must live peacefully with each other.”

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and its threat to use force to bring it under its control have played a major role in communist party propaganda, the education system and the fully state-controlled media for more than seven decades. since the parties were divided among bourgeois parties. war of 1949.

The people of Taiwan are overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject China’s demand that the island unite with the mainland under Communist control.

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On Friday morning, China sent military ships and warplanes across the centerline of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s defense ministry said, crossing what had been an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan for decades.

Five of the missiles China has fired since military exercises began Thursday have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. He said Japan protested the missile landings to China as “serious threats to Japanese national security and the safety of the Japanese people”.

Japan’s defense ministry later said it believes four other missiles fired from Fujian’s southeast coast flew over Taiwan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that China’s military exercises targeting Taiwan pose a “serious problem” threatening regional peace and security.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China’s actions were in accordance with “international law and practices”, although she provided no evidence.

“As for the Exclusive Economic Zone, China and Japan have not conducted maritime demarcation in relevant waters, so there is no such thing as an EEZ of Japan,” Hua told reporters during a daily briefing.

In Tokyo, where Pelosi is ending her Asia trip, she said China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan. Kishida, who spoke to Pelosi and her congressional delegation after breakfast, said the rocket launches “must be stopped immediately”.

China said it had called on European diplomats in the country to protest statements by the Group of Seven industrialized countries and the European Union criticizing China’s military exercises around Taiwan.

The Foreign Ministry said Friday that Deputy Minister Deng Li made “solemn statements” about what he called “deliberate interference in China’s internal affairs.”

Deng said China “will prevent the country from splitting with the utmost determination, by any means necessary and at any cost”.

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The ministry said the meeting was held on Thursday evening, but did not provide information on which countries participated. Earlier on Thursday, China canceled a meeting of foreign ministers with Japan to protest the G-7’s statement that there was no justification for the exercises.

Both ministers attended a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.

China has promoted the overseas support it has received for its response to Pelosi’s visit, mainly from authoritarian fellow states such as Russia, Syria and North Korea.

China had 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 on to South Korea and then to Japan. Both countries are home to US military bases and could become involved in a conflict involving Taiwan.

The Chinese exercises involve troops from the Navy, Air Force, Missile Force, Strategic Support Force and Logistic Support Force, Xinhua said.

They are believed to be the largest near Taiwan in geographic terms and the closest in the vicinity – within 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the island.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the exercises a “significant escalation” on Friday and said he urged Beijing to withdraw.

US law requires the government to treat threats to Taiwan, including blockades, as matters of “serious concern.”

The exercises echo the last major Chinese military exercises to intimidate Taiwan’s leaders and voters in 1995 and 1996.

Taiwan has been beefing up its military and organizing civilian defense exercises, but the general mood remained calm on Friday. Flights have been canceled or diverted and fishermen have stayed in port to avoid the Chinese exercises.

In the northern port of Keelung, 63-year-old Lu Chuan-hsiong enjoyed his morning swim on Thursday and said he was not worried.

“Everyone should want money, not bullets,” Lu said.

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