China warns of ‘severe impact’ after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
CHINA, US: China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China, saying it seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
In a statement issued just after her arrival in Taipei late on Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Pelosi’s visit severely impacts the political foundations of China-U.S. relations, and said it had lodged a strong protest with the United States.
Meanwhile, China’s military said it would conduct drills that appeared to infringe on Taiwan’s territorial waters, setting the stage for a potential showdown between China and the United States over the self-governed island.
Beijing announced plans for six zones encircling Taiwan where it said it would carry out live-fire military drills from Thursday to Sunday, according to a statement released by the Xinhua news agency. Ships and aircraft were warned against trespassing in those areas — some of which overlap with the island’s territorial waters — for “safety reasons,” the statement said.
China also summoned the US Ambassador in Beijing Tuesday to rebuke him over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “egregious” trip to Taiwan, state media reported.
“The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious,” Xie was quoted as saying by China’s state news agency Xinhua. “China will not sit idly by.”
The trip by Pelosi, the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, sent tensions soaring between the world’s two largest economies, with Beijing regarding it as a major provocation.
Meanwhile, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said soon after touching down in Taiwan on Tuesday that her visit, marking the highest-level visit by a US official in more than two decades, was a sign of “America’s unwavering” commitment to supporting the island nation.
Pelosi, second in line to the Presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years and Beijing has made clear that it regards her presence as a major provocation, setting the region on edge.
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, XINHUA