Diplomatic and military tensions continue to rise in wake of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

BEIJING — Fallout continued from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan on Friday, as China announced it was breaking off dialogue with the United States over military talks and climate change.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that working meetings with the US Defense Ministry and the China-US Maritime Military Security Consultation Mechanism were canceled as a result of Pelosis’ visit.

The department also said it would no longer work with the US on talks on climate change, drug control, returning illegal immigrants, criminal investigations and fighting cross-border crime.

These have been seen as the remaining guard rails for a strained US-China relationship, but Beijing has long said the only guard rail that matters is the “one China principle” – that the US has the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government recognizing China only recognizes the Chinese position that Taiwan belongs to China.

The action raises questions about the potential impact on global climate benchmarks, given that China and the US are the world’s biggest polluters. Just last year, the US and China jointly pledged to take “enhanced climate action” to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The White House “subpoenaed” China’s Ambassador Qin Gang overnight over China’s provocative actions, Spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

“We made it clear to the ambassador that Beijing’s actions worry Taiwan, us and our partners around the world,” Kirby said.

Kirby also reiterated US commitment to the One China policy, as did Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Pelosi and members of a congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan Tuesday despite warnings from mainland China. Pelosi, the top American official to visit Taiwan in decades, said the trip — which also includes stops in Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia — is about “promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

In response, China has also stepped up military drills and imposed new trade restrictions on Taiwan.

Kirby confirmed Thursday that China has launched an estimated 11 ballistic missiles into Taiwan, hitting areas in the island’s northeast, east and southeast.

“We condemn these actions, which are irresponsible and contrary to our longstanding goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the region,” Kirby said, calling China’s response an overreaction to Pelosi’s visit.

The US expects these actions to continue in the coming days, Kirby said, noting that the US is “prepared” for whatever Beijing decides.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry released new figures on Friday showing that China has deployed 68 warplanes and 13 warships in the areas and waters around Taiwan. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen said the nation remains on high alert.

Kirby said Thursday the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike force would remain in the “general area to monitor the situation” and “conduct standard air and sea transits across the Taiwan Strait over the next few weeks.”

Blinken called China’s response Friday a “serious overreaction.”

“The fact is that the speaker’s visit was peaceful,” the foreign minister said between sessions at the ongoing Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference in Cambodia. “There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response.”

Pelosi himself commented on China’s reaction to the trip during a press conference Friday along with the rest of the congressional delegation, saying Beijing will “probably use our visit as a pretext” for their missile strikes.

“Our friendship with Taiwan is strong,” she said. “It’s bipartisan in the House and Senate, overwhelming support for peace and the status quo in Taiwan.”

Congressional Republicans this week welcomed Pelosi’s trip, with more than half of the GOP Senate faction signing a statement supporting their decision to go to Taiwan.

Pelosi has also been sanctioned by China, meaning neither she nor her family can visit mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.

– ABC News’ Molly Nagle, Lauren Minore and Joe Simonette contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 ABC, Inc. Diplomatic and military tensions continue to rise in wake of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

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