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China cancels military talks with US in retaliation for Pelosi Taiwan trip

Xi Jinping speaks to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2017. (Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)
August 05, 2022

On Friday, China announced it is taking a number of retaliatory measures against the United States in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan earlier this week, including halting talks on military-related issues.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing the retaliation that Pelosi traveled to Taiwan “in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations.”

The countermeasures include canceling US-China talks on theater commanders and defense policy coordination, as well as Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings. Additionally, China suspended talks on climate change, and cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants, legal assistance in criminal matters, transnational crimes, and counternarcotics.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that “not all” military communication with China was shut down, and some lines still remained open.

A Politico report on Friday said top Chinese military officials had not returned numerous calls from U.S. officials throughout the week, three sources close to the matter said.

Also on Friday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced sanctions against Pelosi and her family, citing her “egregious provocation” for visiting Taiwan.

“In disregard of China’s grave concerns and firm opposition, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi insisted on visiting China’s Taiwan region. This constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs. It gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously tramples on the one-China principle, and severely threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the statement read. 

“In response to Pelosi’s egregious provocation, China decides to adopt sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family members in accordance with relevant laws of the People’s Republic of China,” it added.

Ambassador Deng Xijun of the Chinese Communist Party tweeted that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was “wrong, foolish and insane.”

“Following the visit by #Pelosi to the #Taiwan region, within less than one day, people of different ranks & backgrounds from more than 100 countries & int’l organizations have spoken up in various ways to condemn her wrong, foolish & insane decision,” he tweeted.

Prior to Pelosi’s trip, the Chinese Communist Party issued multiple threats of a “strong” response against the U.S. over the visit to Taiwan. While Taiwan governs itself as its own de facto independent nation known as the Republic of China, the mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) considers the island a part of its territory.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has held the so-called “One China” policy, which states that the PRC is the sole legal government of China, but the U.S. has continued to interact with Taiwan through an ambiguous policy.

“The US must not arrange for Speaker Pelosi to visit the Taiwan region and must stop official interactions with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and follow through on the US’s commitment of not supporting ‘Taiwan independence,’” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

“Should the U.S. side insist on doing otherwise, China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao added. “The US must assume full responsibility for any ensuing consequences.”