China halts climate and military ties over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

China announced Friday that it has suspended all dialogue with the United States on key issues around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, including the critical climate cooperation between the two countries that led to the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. He described China’s “irresponsible” actions since the visit.

China’s announcement adds to the rapidly escalating tensions that followed Pelosi’s visit and the Chinese response with military maneuvers off Taiwan, including the launch of missiles that landed in surrounding waters. White House spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that China’s military actions are “a source of concern to Taiwan, to us, and to our partners around the world.”

A joint US-China deal to combat climate change, struck by Xi and then-President Barack Obama in November 2014, has often been hailed as a watershed that led to the breakthrough Paris Agreement in which nearly every country in the world pledged to try. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Then, seven years later during climate talks in Glasgow, another deal between the United States and China helped smooth the bumps in another international climate agreement.

China’s actions, which come amid strained relations between Beijing and Washington, are the latest in a series of promised steps aimed at punishing the United States for allowing the visit to the island it claims to be its territory, by force if necessary. China on Thursday launched threatening military exercises in six areas off the coast of Taiwan, and they will continue until Sunday.

Chinese officials told state media that missiles were fired over Taiwan. China routinely opposes establishing its own contacts with the autonomous island’s foreign governments, but its response to Pelosi’s visit has been unusually strong.

China’s Foreign Ministry said that dialogue between US and Chinese regional leaders and heads of the two defense ministries will be cancelled, along with talks on military maritime safety.

The ministry said cooperation on repatriation of illegal immigrants, criminal investigations, cross-border crimes, illegal drugs and climate change will be suspended.

The ministry said in a statement that the measures were taken because Pelosi visited Taiwan “in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious protests.”

China has accused the Biden administration of an attack on Chinese sovereignty, even though Pelosi is the head of the legislative branch of the government and Biden has no authority to block her visit.

Kirby said senior US officials meet regularly with their Chinese counterparts over the dispute. Calling China’s actions “provocative,” Kirby said the Biden administration had condemned China’s military exercises as irresponsible and “inconsistent with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

“We have also made it clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do,” he said.

China’s actions come ahead of the ruling Communist Party’s main congress later this year at which President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third five-year term as party leader. With the economy faltering, the party stoked nationalism and launched near-daily attacks on the government of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which refuses to recognize Taiwan as part of China.

China said Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships took part in live-fire military exercises surrounding Taiwan over the past two days, while announcing mainly symbolic sanctions against Pelosi and her family.

Military officers told state media that the missile force also fired missiles over Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean, in a major escalation of China’s threats to attack and invade the island.

The exercises, which Xinhua described as being conducted on an “unprecedented scale,” are China’s toughest response to Pelosi’s visit. The speaker is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

The dialogue and exchanges between China and the United States, especially in military matters and economic exchanges, have stalled at best. Climate change and the fight against the trade in illegal drugs such as fentanyl, however, were the areas in which it was found a common cause. Beijing’s suspension of cooperation could have major implications for efforts to make progress on these issues.

China and the United States rank first and second in climate pollution in the world, and together they produce nearly 40% of all fossil fuel emissions. Top climate diplomats, John Kerry and Xie Zinhua, have maintained a cordial relationship dating back to the 2015 Paris Agreement, made possible by a negotiated détente between the two and the others.

China pledged under Kerry’s urging at last year’s UN global climate summit in Glasgow to work with the US “urgently” to cut climate-destroying emissions, but Kerry was unable to persuade it to speed up China’s move away from coal.

On the Chinese coast across from Taiwan, tourists gathered on Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft heading toward the exercise area.

Fighter planes could be heard flying overhead and the tourists who took pictures chanted, “Let’s go back Taiwan,” as they look out over the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan Island, a famous scenic area in Fujian Province.

Wang Lu, a tourist from neighboring Zhejiang Province, said Pelosi’s visit stirred up emotions among the Chinese public, and the government’s response “makes us feel that our motherland is very strong and gives us confidence that the return of Taiwan is the irresistible trend.”

Liu Bolin, a high school student visiting the island, said that China “is a strong country and will not allow anyone to offend its territory.”

China’s insistence that Taiwan is its territory and its threat to use force to regain control has appeared in the ruling Communist Party’s statements, the education system, and state-controlled media for more than seven decades since the two sides split amid the civil war in 1949.

Taiwan residents overwhelmingly favor maintaining the status quo of de facto independence and reject China’s demands that the island unite with the mainland under communist control.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobu Kishi said five of the missiles launched by China since the start of military exercises on Thursday landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off the southernmost island of Hatruma. He said Japan has protested the missile landings in China, describing it as “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”

Japan’s Defense Ministry later said it believed four more missiles launched from the Fujian coast in southeast China had flown over Taiwan.

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

And in Tokyo, where Pelosi is concluding her Asian trip, she said China could not prevent US officials from visiting Taiwan. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and her congressional delegation, Kishida said the missile launches should “stop immediately.”

China said it had summoned European diplomats in the country to protest statements from the Group of Seven industrialized nations and the European Union criticizing Chinese military exercises surrounding Taiwan.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken described the exercises as a “major escalation” and said he had urged Beijing to back off.

Taiwan put its military on high alert and conducted civil defense exercises, but the mood remained calm on Friday. Flights were canceled or diverted and fishermen remained in port to avoid Chinese exercises.

___

Associated Press writer David Rising wrote from Phnom Penh. Associated Press writers Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Mary Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Seth Bornstein in Washington have contributed.

#China #halts #climate #military #ties #Pelosis #visit #Taiwan

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.