US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed Taiwan’s parliament on Wednesday and was scheduled to meet with her president as well as human rights activists during a visit to the Beijing-affecting island.
China denounced the highest-level US visit to Taiwan in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, responded with a flurry of military exercises, summoned the US ambassador to Beijing, and several agricultural withdrawals from Taiwan. Announced suspension of imports. ,
Pelosi arrived in Taipei late Tuesday on an unannounced but closely watched visit, saying it reflected unwavering US commitment to the self-governing island that Beijing calls part of China.
Pelosi on Wednesday thanked President Tsai Ing-wen for her leadership and called for increased inter-parliamentary cooperation.
“We commend Taiwan for being one of the most independent societies in the world,” Pelosi told Taiwan’s parliament.
He also said that the new US law aimed at bolstering the US chip industry to compete with China “provides greater opportunities for US-Taiwan economic cooperation.”
While Pelosi is not the first House speaker to visit Taiwan – Newt Gingrich visited in 1997 – his visit has been marked by a rapidly deteriorating relationship between Beijing and Washington, and with China a much more powerful economic force than a quarter. , military and geopolitical force. century ago.
China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never given up using force to bring it under its control. The United States warned China against using the visit as an excuse for military action against Taiwan.
Early Wednesday, China’s customs department announced a suspension of imports of citrus fruits, cold white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan, while its commerce ministry suspended exports of natural sand to Taiwan.
A longtime critic of China, particularly on human rights, Pelosi was slated to meet later on Wednesday a former Tiananmen activist, a Hong Kong bookseller who was detained by China and recently A Taiwanese activist released by China who was familiar with the matter. Told.
Soon after Pelosi’s arrival, China’s military announced joint air and sea exercises near Taiwan and began testing conventional missiles at sea east of Taiwan, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported live around Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday. -Fire drills and other exercises described.
China’s foreign ministry said Pelosi’s visit seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, “has a serious impact on the political foundations of Sino-US relations, and seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” “
Ahead of Pelosi’s arrival on Tuesday, Chinese warplanes stormed the line dividing the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese military said it was on high alert and would launch a “targeted military operation” in response to Pelosi’s visit.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said after Pelosi’s arrival on Tuesday that the United States is “not going to be intimidated” by China’s threats or war-related rhetoric and that there is no reason his visit should trigger a crisis or conflict. Go.
“We will continue to support Taiwan, defend a free and open Indo-Pacific and try to maintain communication with Beijing,” Kirby said at a later White House briefing, adding that “the United States” in saber-rattle will not be attached.
Kirby said China could be doing “economic coercion” towards Taiwan, adding that the impact on US-Chinese relations would depend on Beijing’s actions in the coming days and weeks.
The United States has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is obliged by American law to provide it with the means to defend itself. China sees the visit by US officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the island. Taiwan has rejected China’s claims of sovereignty, saying that only the Taiwanese people can decide the future of the island.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said 21 Chinese aircraft entered its air defense detection area on Tuesday, and that China was attempting to threaten major ports and cities with exercises around the island.
“The so-called drill areas are falling within the busiest international channels in the Indo-Pacific region,” a senior official familiar with Taiwan’s security plan told Reuters on Wednesday.
“We can see China’s ambition: to make the Taiwan Strait non-international waters, as well as to make the entire area of the first island chain in the western Pacific its sphere of influence,” the person said.
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