China said on Friday it was ending cooperation with the United States on a litany of key issues, including climate change, anti-drug efforts and military talks, as relations between the two superpowers take a hit. nose in Taiwan.
Beijing reacted with fury to a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which she claims as her territory and has vowed to retake, by force if necessary.
It has since surrounded the democratic, self-governing island on Thursday with a series of huge military drills that have been roundly condemned by the United States and other Western allies.
And on Friday, its foreign ministry again retaliated against the United States, suspending talks and cooperation on multiple agreements between the two, including on climate change.
Last year, the world’s two biggest polluters pledged to work together to accelerate climate action this decade and promised to meet regularly to “address the climate crisis”.
But that deal now looks fragile in light of China’s latest move.
Sounding the alarm, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the two superpowers must continue to work together, for the good of the world.
“For the secretary-general, there is no way to solve the world’s most pressing problems without effective dialogue and cooperation between the two countries,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
In Washington, the White House has summoned the Chinese ambassador to condemn Beijing’s “irresponsible” behavior towards Taiwan, a senior US official said on Friday.
Taiwan also condemned Beijing’s response to the visit, with Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang calling on allies to push for de-escalation.
“(We) didn’t expect the wicked next door neighbor to show his power at our doorstep and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military drills,” he told reporters. journalists.
Pelosi – who Beijing has also slapped with sanctions – defended his trip to Taiwan, saying on Friday that Washington “would not allow” China to isolate the island.
– ‘Our homeland is powerful’ –
Beijing said its military drills would continue until noon Sunday, and Taipei said 68 Chinese planes and 13 warships crossed the “median line” running down the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
AFP reporters on the Chinese island of Pingtan saw a fighter jet flying overhead, prompting tourists to take photos.
A Chinese military vessel sailing through the Taiwan Strait was also visible, they added.
The Chinese drills involved a “conventional missile firepower assault” in waters east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.
And state broadcaster CCTV reported that Chinese missiles flew directly over Taiwan – a major escalation if confirmed.
On Pingtan, local tourists proudly touted Beijing’s military might against its much smaller neighbor.
“Our motherland is powerful. We are not afraid of having a war with Taiwan, the United States or any country in the world,” Liu, a 40-year-old tourist from China, told AFP. Zhejiang province.
“We hope to unify Taiwan soon,” he added. “We don’t want to start a war, but we are not afraid of others.”
Wang, a businesswoman, was more optimistic about the prospects for cross-Strait ties.
“I hope China can unify Taiwan, but I don’t want war,” she said. “I hope this issue can be resolved peacefully.”
– ‘Significant escalation’ –
The scale and intensity of the Chinese drills have sparked outrage in the United States and other democracies.
“These provocative actions constitute a significant escalation,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after talks with Southeast Asian foreign ministers at an ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh.
“The fact is that the speaker’s visit was peaceful. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response,” he added.
China’s foreign minister responded by warning Washington not to escalate tensions.
“America’s habit is to create a problem and then use that problem to achieve its goals. But that approach won’t work with China,” Wang Yi told a press conference on the sidelines of the summit. .
“We want to issue a warning to the United States not to act recklessly and create a bigger crisis.”
Japan has filed a formal diplomatic complaint against Beijing, with five of the Chinese missiles said to have landed in its exclusive economic zone.
On Friday, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said China had canceled a planned bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.
And Australia – which has a difficult relationship with China, its biggest trading partner – has condemned the drills as “disproportionate and destabilizing”.
The maneuvers are taking place along some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, used to spread the world’s supply of vital semiconductors and electronic equipment produced in East Asia.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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