China announced on Friday, August 5, the suspension of its cooperation with the United States in a number of areas, including dialogue between high-level military officials, in retaliation for the visit this week to Taiwan by the President of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Beijing would notably suspend climate talks with the United States, as well as cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime, the repatriation of illegal migrants and the military security of maritime areas. The ministry had also announced, a few hours earlier, “impose penalties” to Nancy Pelosi and her ” close family “without giving further details.
This announcement comes on the second day of a series of military exercises on an unprecedented scale around Taiwan, which should last until Sunday. Beijing considers the island an integral part of Chinese territory and its Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told Cambodia on the sidelines of a regional summit on Thursday that Mr.me Pelosi was a “blatant provocation” of the United States and created a “unfortunate precedent” in relations between the two countries.
The Chinese army on Thursday fired ballistic missiles and deployed its air force and navy in six maritime areas around Taiwan, approaching up to 20 kilometers from the coast and disrupting some of the busiest trade routes in the world. . On Friday, sixty-eight Chinese fighter planes and thirteen warships had crossed the ” median line “ of the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese military. Criticizing these movements in the arm of the sea which separates the island from mainland China, the Ministry of Defense denounced military exercises “highly provocative” from Beijing.
“The temperature is quite high”
“These provocations represent a significant escalation (…) [Pékin] drives dangerous actions to a new level”, commented, on the side of the United States, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, traveling to Cambodia on Friday for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN, comprising ten countries). Washington has accused Beijing of having “chosen to overreact” to the visit of Nancy Pelosi, and warned that his aircraft carrier Reagan would continue to ” to watch “ around the island, while announcing that it had postponed an intercontinental missile test to avoid aggravating the crisis.
China “used the visit of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as a pretext to increase its provocative military operations in and around the Taiwan Strait”said the spokesman of the White House for strategic issues, John Kirby. “The temperature is quite high”but the tensions “can go down very easily if the Chinese stop these very aggressive military exercises”he estimated.
Japan expressed a formal diplomatic protest against Beijing, believing that five of the Chinese missiles fell inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). These maneuvers are “a serious problem that affects our national security and that of our citizens”Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said: “We call for the immediate cessation of military exercises. » In Tokyo, the last stage of his eventful Asian tour, Mme Pelosi claimed that the United States “will not allow” China to isolate Taiwan. This tour in the region “was not meant to change the status quo here in Asia, to change the status quo in Taiwan”she assured.
Taiwan calls China a ‘malicious neighbour’
On Thursday, the official New China news agency reported, the People’s Liberation Army “flew more than a hundred warplanes, including fighters and bombers”in the same way “more than ten destroyers and frigates”. State broadcaster CCTV claimed that Chinese missiles even flew over Taiwan for the first time.
The Taipei Defense Ministry, however, did not confirm the trajectory of the projectiles, “considering that the main purpose of the CCP launching missiles [Parti communiste chinois] is to intimidate us and in order to protect the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of the military”according to a press release. “We did not expect the malevolent neighbor to flaunt his power at our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military exercises”Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang told reporters.