Beijing [China]: China on Friday imposed sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family members, following her brief visit to Taiwan that has riled up Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Minister announced the decision saying, Pelosi, who is among the top US three officials, disregarded the country’s concern and insisted on visiting Taiwan, state media outlet Global Times reported. The ministry further said the trip “seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs, undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, tramples on the one-China principle and threatens peace and stability in Taiwan Straits.”
Pelosi’s high-stakes visit this week marks the first visit by a US House Speaker in 25 years since Newt Gingrich came to Taiwan in April 1997. It was also Speaker Pelosi’s first trip to Taiwan in 22 years.
Besides the large-scale military drills, China launched multiple ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of Taiwan, threatening Taiwan’s national security and escalating regional tensions in the region.
Taiwan said the visit of the US Congressional delegation, led by the US House Speaker, “once again emphasizes the rock-solid US commitment to Taiwan.”
“The inclusion of Taiwan in the itinerary of Speaker Pelosi’s first Asian tour since the US Congress resumed overseas travel this year fully demonstrates the high regard that the Congress has for Taiwan and once again emphasizes the rock-solid US commitment to Taiwan,” the Taiwan foreign ministry said in a statement.
National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby on Thursday denounced China’s missile launches in Japan’s exclusive economic zone that were carried out as part of military exercises in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
“I’m sure all of you that covered overnight, the People’s Republic of China launched an estimated 11 ballistic missiles towards Taiwan which impacted to the northeast, the east and southeast of the island. 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 a 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,” he added.
Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States will continue to support Taiwan and cross-strait peace and stability.
“We will continue to support Taiwan and cross-strait peace and stability. [Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin has directed that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan remain on station in the general area to monitor the situation,” Blinken said at a press conference during the ASEAN meeting in Cambodia.