World · August 6, 2022

The White House summoned the Chinese ambassador to condemn the provocations after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

“After China’s actions overnight, we summoned PRC Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to tell him about the PRC’s provocative actions. We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible, contrary to our long-standing goal. date to maintain peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait, “National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby told CNN.

The decision to summon Qin came after days of warning China not to escalate tensions in the region following the speaker’s visit to the self-governing island, which the Chinese Communist Party considers its territory despite never having controlled it. It represents a shift from the White House attitude towards the trip before it happened, when officials privately tried to warn Pelosi of the possible consequences of the visit and how it could damage US-China relations. The meeting was first reported by the Washington Post.

In the days since Pelosi left Taiwan, China has taken multiple bellicose steps, both diplomatically and militarily.

On the diplomatic front, Beijing is sanctioning Pelosi and his close relatives and said on Friday it will suspend cooperation with Washington on various issues, including the fight against the climate crisis.

The pause in the climate talks between the US and China is symbolically significant for bilateral relations between the two nations because the climate crisis has been one of the few areas the US and China have continued to cooperate in recent years, even during periods of heightened geopolitical tensions.

The US and China announced in Glasgow last year a bilateral agreement to cooperate on the climate crisis, widely seen as a progressive step that would allow China to work on key issues – such as reducing methane emissions – without having to join. to global agreements that had shown resistance to. Representatives of the climate nations were in regular communication to build on that agreement.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said that Chinese warships and planes conducted exercises in the waters around the island and that Chinese forces crossed the midline – the halfway point between the island and mainland China. – in a move that the ministry called a “highly provocative act”.

Two Chinese drones flew close to Japan on Thursday, prompting the country’s Air Self-Defense Force to take off fighters in response, according to a Tokyo Defense Ministry statement.

Kirby said the White House told Qin that the United States does not want a crisis in the region and reiterated that there have been no changes in the US “One China” policy and that Washington recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the China’s only legitimate government.

“We also made it clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do. We will not seek and do not want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law. , as we have done for decades, supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific, ”Kirby said in the statement.

NSC Indo-Pacific Affairs coordinator Kurt Campbell met with Qin, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday that the US has repeatedly told China that “we do not seek and will not cause a crisis.” He called China’s recent actions “provocative” and “a significant escalation”.

The speaker’s visit, he said, was “uneventful” and “there is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response”.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the visit – the first time a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years – was intended to make it “unequivocally clear” that the US “would not abandon” Taipei. .

It has come to a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a visit to the democratically governed island.

The United States maintains close unofficial ties with Taiwan and is required by law to supply defensive weapons to Taiwan. But it remains deliberately vague whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity”.

The United States has postponed a long-planned missile test due to China’s angry reaction to Pelosi’s trip. A US official told CNN that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the Department of Defense to postpone the test flight of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM after China launched military exercises.

A senior official at the Chinese embassy in Washington said Friday that Qin “totally rejected the so-called condemnation” of military actions across the Strait of the White House of China when he was summoned.

“The only way out of this crisis is that the US side must immediately take things to correct their mistakes and eliminate the serious impact of Pelosi’s visit,” Minister Jing Quan said during a virtual briefing.

Jing reiterated that China considers Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “a serious violation of One China policy”. She said they view the legislator’s trip as an official visit from the US government, noting that Pelosi flew on a US government plane. The use of a government aircraft is standard for congressional delegations, especially the Speaker of the House who is at the top of the presidential succession line.

He said Pelosi “knows where China’s red lines are”, but said he “has still chosen to deliberately provoke and challenge China’s position.”

Kirby responded to Qin on Friday, saying, “There is nothing here for the US to rectify: the Chinese can do a lot to reduce tensions simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric.”

“We don’t want a crisis. We’re not looking for a crisis and, frankly, there’s no reason for a crisis to come out of it,” Kirby said in response to a question from CNN’s MJ Lee.

He told reporters that the US condemned China’s sanction against Pelosi and his family and said it was “unjustified”, arguing that the speaker had “every right to go”.

This story has been updated with more information.