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China sanctions Pelosi, family over Taiwan trip

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 05, 2022

On Friday, China announced new sanctions against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her family. The move comes after Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this week. 

Pelosi landed in Taiwan late Tuesday local time despite the Chinese Communist Party’s repeated threats made against the United States in opposition to her visit. In a statement announcing the sanctions on Friday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson called Pelosi’s trip an “egregious provocation.” 

“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,” he added. 

The statement did not include any details about the specific details of the sanctions. Sanctions from foreign nations often include bans on travel to the country and investment in the country.

The Foreign Ministry also announced additional countermeasures taken in response to Pelosi’s tour of Taiwan, which rules itself as a sovereign nation in defiance of China.

“In disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region,” the ministry said in a statement, adding the following list of countermeasures:

  • Canceling China-U.S. Theater Commanders Talk.
  • Canceling China-U.S. Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT).
  • Canceling China-U.S. Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings.
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants.
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters.
  • Suspending China-U.S. cooperation against transnational crimes.
  • Suspending China-U.S. counternarcotics cooperation.
  • Suspending China-U.S. talks on climate change.

Shortly after landing in Taiwan, Pelosi tweeted that America has an “unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” However, the Speaker’s comments directly contradicted White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, who said on Monday that the Biden administration does “not support Taiwan independence.”

“We have said — and we have repeatedly said — that we oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side,” Kirby said, referring to China-Taiwan relations. “We have said that we do not support Taiwan independence.  And we have said that we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means.”

When asked about the contradicting messages the following day, Kirby said, “I’ll let the Speaker speak for herself.”

The reporter pressed Kirby, asking if Pelosi is “misstating administration policy” by saying America stands with Taiwan. 

“You — you should talk to Speaker Pelosi about her comments,” Kirby said. 

“So, you don’t endorse that language?” the reporter asked. 

“I’m not — I’m not saying that, James. I’m not going to speak for Speaker Pelosi. That’s beyond my writ. I can speak for the administration when it comes to national security policy, and nothing has changed about our policy,” Kirby concluded.