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China imposes sanctions on Nancy Pelosi after Taiwan visit

August 5, 2022

China's Foreign Ministry has announced sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after her visit to Taiwan this week prompted anger. Beijing accused the prominent Democratic politician of undermining sovereignty.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen
Pelosi's trip has caused consternation in Beijing, which said it undermined ChinaImage: Taiwan Presidential Office/REUTERS

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Pelosi was "seriously interfering in China's internal affairs and seriously undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," with her visit to Taiwan this week.

Beijing said Pelosi had disregarded China's concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island, which China claims as its own.

The ministry said China would "impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family," without giving further details.

The Chinese Communist Party says that self-ruled, democratic Taiwan is part of its territory and has promised to one day take it, if necessary by force. As such, Beijing objects to foreign governments having formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

While the US does not have such relations with Taipei, it remains its most important military and political backer. 

Beijing cuts dialogue channels

China also said it was canceling or suspending dialogue with the US on a range of issues — from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts — in retaliation for Pelosi's trip.

"We believe that this is fundamentally irresponsible," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in response to the suspension of cooperation on climate change.

"They think they're punishing us by shutting down this channel," Kirby said. "They're actually punishing the whole world because the climate crisis doesn't recognize geographic boundaries and borders."

"The world's largest emitter now is refusing to engage on critical steps necessary to combat the climate crisis, which actually impacts our partners from rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands and fires across Europe," Kirby said.

He added that Beijing can "go a long way to taking the tensions down simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric."

US-Chinese tensions over Pelosi Taiwan visit

On the last leg of her Asian tour in Japan, Pelosi said on Friday that the US would "not allow" China to isolate Taiwan.

China flexes muscles in response

The government in Beijing has reacted with threats and military drills before and after Pelosi's visit — a trip it views as unacceptable because it escalates ties between Washington and Taipei.

China also announced on Friday that more than 100 warplanes and 10 warships had taken part in live-fire military drills surrounding Taiwan over the past two days.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Friday that fighters, bombers, destroyers and frigates were all involved.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry on Friday said a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships were conducting missions in the Taiwan Strait at that time. Some, they said, had crossed the median line — an unofficial buffer separating the two sides. The ministry described the move as "damaging the status quo."

China's drills keep Taiwan's fisherman ashore

The ministry said Taiwan had scrambled jets to warn away 49 Chinese aircraft in its air defense zone.

ab, rc/msh (AP, Reuters) 

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