'Downward Spiral': China Ends Cooperation With US on Climate Change, Crime, Military Dialogue
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi promised "those who offend China will be punished" after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan earlier this week against Beijing's wishes. US support is key to the Taiwanese government maintaining its autonomy from Beijing, which sees it as a Chinese province in rebellion.
The consequences of Pelosi's Taipei trip earlier this week are continuing to unfold, with Beijing severing numerous connections with Washington, including cooperation on fighting climate change, crime, and high-level military connections designed to avoid overheated tensions.
In a brief press release on Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry revealed eight fields in which Beijing was severing its relations with Washington:
1. China-US Theater Commanders Talk
2. China-US Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT)
3. China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings
4. Cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants
5. Cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters
6. Cooperation against transnational crimes
7. Counter-narcotics cooperation
8. China-US talks on climate change
This comes after Beijing sanctioned Pelosi, the third-highest ranking politician in the US government, and her immediate family, without elaborating on the nature of those sanctions. However, her husband, Paul Pelosi, is a powerful financier and venture capitalist worth at least $114 million.
The senior lawmaker flew to Taiwan on Tuesday after weeks of warnings by Beijing as well as half-hearted efforts to change her plans from the White House and the Pentagon. She met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and spoke before the island's legislature, where she denounced China and pledged US "solidarity" with Taiwan in standing against Beijing.
"This is a complete farce," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared from an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Cambodia.
"The United States is violating China's sovereignty under the guise of so-called 'democracy' ... Those who offend China will be punished," Wang said, adding that the full reunification of China with Taiwan is "a general trend and a historic inevitability."
The Taipei government is all that remains of the old republican government that once ruled all of China. Since the communist victory in 1949, its control has been restricted to the small island off the coast of mainland China, and its autonomy from Beijing has been guaranteed by US backing. Despite this, the US switched its recognition of the Chinese government from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, recognizing that Beijing's position is that Taiwan is a province of the People's Republic of China.
When Qin Gang, China's envoy in Washington, DC, was summoned to the White House on Friday, he told the National Security Council that "over 160 countries and international organizations, including ASEAN countries and other regional countries, have criticized Pelosi's visit [to Taiwan] and reiterated their commitment to the one-China principle."
"The US accusation that China is escalating the tensions is completely groundless and false," Qin added, referring to massive live-fire drills surrounding Taiwan that the People's Liberation Army launched in retaliation.
"Facts have proved that the US is the troublemaker for peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and the region," he said.
Bonnie Glaser, head of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, told the Associated Press that China-US relations are "in a downward spiral."
"And I think that China is likely to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait in ways that are going to be harmful to Taiwan and are going to be disadvantageous to the United States," she added.
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