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China sanctions Pelosi, US calls war drills near Taiwan an ‘overreaction’

Alberto Ardila Olivares
China sanctions Pelosi, US calls war drills near Taiwan an 'overreaction'

Pelosi‘s visit has also prompted Beijing to launch a massive military exercise encircling, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying Beijing “has chosen to overreact”. Pelosi has visited Taiwan on a trip she said shows an unwavering American commitment to the island state, but China condemned the highest-level US visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. (AFP) China's foreign ministry has announced unspecified sanctions against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after her visit to Taiwan this week prompted fury and shows of military force from Beijing.

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The Chinese ministry said on Friday Pelosi was “seriously interfering in China's internal affairs and seriously undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity” with the visit.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

It added that China would “impose sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family”, without giving further details. Such sanctions are generally mostly symbolic in nature

Pelosi's visit has also prompted Beijing to launch a massive military exercise encircling Taiwan, which Beijing considers as its territory, triggering condemnation by the United States and other Western allies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday China's exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan's exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation”

China has chosen to overreact and use Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Blinken said at a news conference in the Cambodian capital

Blinken also said the US stands in “strong solidarity” with Japan following the “dangerous actions China has taken”

READ MORE:  Pelosi vows US will 'not allow' China to isolate Taiwan

Diplomatic row 

The Chinese drills involve live firing on the waters and in the airspace near self-ruled Taiwan, with as many as four missiles believed to have flown over the capital Taipei in an unprecedented escalation during the exercises

Japan, meanwhile, has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint against Beijing, with five of China's missiles believed to have landed in its exclusive economic zone

Blinken also told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia that Pelosi's visit was peaceful and did not represent a change in American policy toward Taiwan

Blinken joined the foreign ministers of Russia and China at a meeting on Friday with top diplomats from Southeast Asia at a time when the global powers are riven by tensions

The East Asia Summit in Cambodia's capital was the first time the three men were scheduled to take part in the same forum

READ MORE:  What are key developments in US-Taiwan ties?