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China sanctions US House speaker Nancy Pelosi over Taiwan visit

The move came after the Chinese military staged military drills and fired missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Aug 5th 2022, 7:04 AM 25,526 49

Updated Aug 5th 2022, 9:50 AM

CHINA’S FOREIGN MINISTRY has announced unspecified sanctions against US House speaker Nancy Pelosi after her visit to Taiwan this week prompted fury and shows of military force from Beijing.

A Chinese foreign ministry statement said that Pelosi had disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island.

Pelosi was the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and opposes it having its own engagements with foreign governments.

China has announced sanctions on a number of US officials in recent years for acting against what it views as its core interests and speaking out on human rights issues in Hong Kong and the northwestern region of Xinjiang, often without specifying punitive measures.

Earlier, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that Chinese military exercises aimed at Taiwan – including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone – represent a “significant escalation”.

The military drills were launched by China after Pelosi’s visit sparked fury in Beijing.

At a news conference in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, Blinken said: “China has chosen to over-react and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

Blinken also said the US stands in “strong solidarity” with Japan following the “dangerous actions China has taken”.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Cambodia, Blinken said that Pelosi’s visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in American policy towards Taiwan.

Pelosi had earlier said that China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there.

She made the remarks in Tokyo during the final leg of an Asia tour highlighted by the visit to Taiwan.

“They [China] may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi said her trip to Taiwan was not intended to change the status quo for the island but to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.

She praised Taiwan’s democracy, including its progress in diversity and success in technology and business, and criticised China’s violations of trade agreements, proliferation of weapons and human rights problems.

Additional reporting by AFP. 

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