China called on the US to refrain from sailing naval vessels through the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing would take further action in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei.
China’s ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, said on Tuesday that China viewed such Taiwan transits as an escalation by the US and an effort to support the “separatist government” in Taipei. He delivered the warning after Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrapped up the second trip to the island in less than two weeks by a US congressional delegation.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
“The US side has done too much and going too far in this region,” Qin said in response to a question about potential naval patrols. “I do call on our American colleagues to refrain, to exercise restraint, not to do anything to escalate the tension. So if there’s any moves damaging China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, so China will respond. China will respond.”
The Biden administration has said it would conduct air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait after China responded to Pelosi’s trip with a series of military drills around the island, including likely firing ballistic missiles over Taipei. The US has long held that such transits, like congressional visits, are consistent with its “one China policy” not to formally recognize the democratically elected government in Taipei.
The Navy has conducted an average of about nine trips annually through the strait over the past decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, far fewer than the “100 navigations” Qin said the US makes each year. The most recent known trip came on July 19, when the destroyer, the USS Benfold, sailed through the waterway.
Similarly, Pelosi was only the most senior of 149 members of Congress who have visited Taiwan over the past 10 years.
The Biden administration shouldn’t underestimate China’s resolve on the issue of US congressional visits to Taiwan, Qin said, rejecting White House arguments that lawmakers could act independently. He added that such trips violate the agreements underpinning US-China relations.
“Congress is part of the government of the US -- it’s not an independent, uncontrollable branch,” Qin said. “Congress is obliged to abide by the foreign policy of the United States. That’s why we feel very frustrated and dissatisfied with Senator Markey’s visit to Taiwan. It’s provocative, it’s unhelpful.”
Separately, a bipartisan group of Japanese lawmakers plan to visit Taiwan next week, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Defense Ministry in Tokyo had previously said that Chinese ballistic missiles landed in what Japan considers its exclusive economic zone after Pelosi’s trip.
Qin defended the Chinese military’s response to the trip, saying the drills were “open, transparent and professional.”
“We are handling a serious fallout from Pelosi’s visit,” Qin told reporters in Washington. He warned the US not to “underestimate the strong resolve, determination and the capability of the Chinese government and the people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Qin also downplayed the threat of an imminent Chinese attack on Taiwan, saying he wasn’t aware of a specific timeline.
“People are over-nervous about it,” he said, adding that speculation China had moved up the timeline for an invasion was “baseless.”
China sanctions seven Taiwanese ‘independence diehard’ officialsChina imposed sanctions on Tuesday on seven Taiwanese officials and lawmakers it accused of being “independence diehards”, including banning them from ... World News
Taiwan accuses China of exaggeration with islands footageTaiwan accused China of exaggeration and “tricks” on Tuesday after the Chinese military published footage of the strategically located Penghu islands ... World News
Angry China stages more military drills near Taiwan amid US lawmakers’ visitChina’s military said it carried out more exercises near Taiwan on Monday as a group of US lawmakers visited the Chinese-claimed island and met ... World News
US congressional delegation arrives in Taiwan, days after China drillsA US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, Washington’s de facto embassy in Taipei said, days after China held military drills around ... World News
Taiwan's foreign ministry thanks US for maintaining security in Taiwan StraitTaiwan's foreign ministry expressed its “sincere gratitude” towards the United States for taking “concrete actions” to maintain security and peace in ... World News
US scolds China for overreacting to Pelosi visit, vows ‘ambitious roadmap’ for TaiwanWhite House official said the US will continue to fly, sail and operate where international law allows, including “conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.” World News
China's Taiwan military drills offer spying opportunity for USWhile China's expanded drills surrounding Taiwan have marked an unprecedented military and political warning against outside interference over the ... World News
Taiwan rejects China's 'one country, two systems' plan for the islandTaiwan rejects the “one country, two systems” model proposed by Beijing in a white paper published this week, the self-ruled island's foreign ministry ... World News
Pelosi: US cannot allow China’s ‘new normal’ over TaiwanShe laughed when asked about China’s announcement that it was sanctioning her and her immediate family. “Who cares?” Pelosi said. “That is incidental to me, of no relevance whatsoever.” World News
‘No more than 10’ Chinese, Taiwanese ships stay close to median line of Taiwan StraitNo more than 10 Chinese and Taiwan navy ships stayed close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait as of Thursday afternoon, a source briefed on the ... World News