HomeNewsChina halts US cooperation on range of issues after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
China halts US cooperation on range of issues after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
August 5, 2022
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have plummeted into further uncertainty as China halted ties with the US on a range of critical issues – from talks on the climate crisis to dialogue between their militaries – following the visit to Taiwan earlier this week by the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
The declaration of the series of “countermeasures” came as Beijing for a second day staged massive military drills surrounding the island of Taiwan and also announced sanctions against Pelosi and her direct family members for what it called her “vicious and provocative actions”.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had scrambled jets to warn away 49 Chinese aircraft in its air defence zone on Friday and a total of 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 navy ships had conducted missions. The foreign ministry in Taipei also reported it had detected “massive” number of cyberattacks attempts against its website throughout Thursday and on Friday morning.
With tensions running high in the Taiwan strait, China on Friday said it was cancelling some efforts to keep communication channels open between Chinese and US military commanders. Those included attempts to coordinate air and sea operations to prevent unintentional flare-ups, for example, by warships operating close to each other at sea.
Bilateral talks and collaborations on issues including the climate emergency, repatriation of illegal immigrants, counternarcotics and legal assistance in criminal matters were suspended.
The White House said it had summoned China’s ambassador to Washington to condemn the “irresponsible” behaviour of Beijing over Taiwan. A Chinese embassy official in Washington said the only way out of the crisis was for the US to “rectify its mistakes and eliminate the grave impact of Pelosi’s visit.”
Analysts say the halting of some of the bilateral activities – especially those related to military – threatens to break what the White House calls “guardrails” between the two countries, which could prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.
“These measures are going to decrease chances for the US and China to find a much needed modus vivendi,” said Zeno Leoni, a defence expert at King’s College London. “The two most powerful states are now unable to talk to one another – in a productive manner.”
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told an Asean meeting of top diplomats on Friday that China’s reaction was “flagrantly provocative”. “The fact is, the speaker’s visit was peaceful. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response,” Blinken said.