China has begun its retaliation against Washington by announcing Friday the cancelation of a series of meetings with the United States, namely the suspension of issues it was working bilaterally with the US on, including related to military dialogue, climate change and anti-drug projects. Most important among these at a moment Washington has expressed concern that "the risk of a mistake could actually lead to some sort of conflict" (in John Kirby's words Thursday) - is the cancelation of military ties.
This comes in addition to unveiling undefined sanctions against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the "egregious provocation" of her overnight trip to Taiwan earlier in the week, which saw China immediately respond with ongoing live fire drills which have surrounded the self-ruled island, as well as ballistic missile firings in the vicinity.
The foreign ministry said in a statement, "In disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region," and announced the following countermeasures in response:
- Canceling China-U.S. Theater Commanders Talk.
- Canceling China-U.S. Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT).
- Canceling China-U.S. Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings.
- Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants.
- Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters.
- Suspending China-U.S. cooperation against transnational crimes.
- Suspending China-U.S. counternarcotics cooperation.
- Suspending China-U.S. talks on climate change.
Among the most directly threatening actions thus far has been the PLA military firing ballistic missiles over Taiwan; however, which Taipei on Wednesday refused to confirm actually flew directly over the island, despite many international reports reporting such.
Meanwhile, on climate "dialogue"...
Literally hundreds of Chinse military aircraft and ships have also buzzed or breach Taiwan-claimed airspace and waters at this point, as the largest drills in recent history have continued to ramp up. After Beijing declared the "median line" has practically ceased to exist, dozens of aircraft have since crossed over what conventionally demarcated territorial waters of the democratic-run island.
Taiwan said in a defense ministry statement that about 20 Chinese military aircraft briefly cross the Taiwan median line on Friday morning, according to Reuters.
Pelosi while in Japan on Friday, the last stop of her Asia tour, said "The Chinese made their strikes, probably using our visit as an excuse." She added: "They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places but they will not isolate Taiwan. They are not doing our traveling schedule, the Chinese government is not doing that."
She then underscored the US won't let China isolate Taiwan, stressing, "We had high-level visits, senators in the spring, the bi-partisan way, continuing visits, and we will not allow them to isolate Taiwan."
This is similar to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby's assessment given Thursday, wherein he charged Beijing with overreacting. "We condemn these actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the region," Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing. "China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker's visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait."
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