We will sanction Pelosi over Taiwan visit: China Foreign Ministry
A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said Friday that Pelosi had disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims. This has provoked China to announce unspecified sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her visit earlier this week to Taiwan.
China says it summoned European diplomats in the country to protest statements issued by the Group of Seven nations and the European Union criticizing threatening Chinese military exercises surrounding Taiwan.
The Foreign Ministry on Friday said Vice Minister Deng Li made “solemn representations” over what he called “wanton interference in China’s internal affairs.”
China has dispatched navy ships and warplanes and launched missiles into the Taiwan Strait in response to a visit this week by US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which China regards as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
On the Chinese coast across from Taiwan, tourists gathered Friday to try to catch a glimpse of any military aircraft heading toward the exercise area. Fighter jets could be heard flying overhead and tourists taking photos chanted, “Let’s take Taiwan back,” looking out into the blue waters of the Taiwan Strait from Pingtan island, a popular scenic spot.
On Friday morning, China sent military ships and war planes across the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said, crossing what had been an unofficial buffer zone between China and Taiwan for decades.
Five of the missiles fired by China since the military exercises began Thursday landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said. He said Japan protested the missile landings to China as “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”
Japan’s Defense Ministry later said they believe the other four missiles, fired from China’s southeastern coast of Fujian, flew over Taiwan.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security.
In Tokyo, where Pelosi is winding up her Asia trip, she said China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan. Speaking after breakfast with Pelosi and her congressional delegation, Kishida said the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately.”
US law requires the government to treat threats to Taiwan, including blockades, as matters of “grave concern.”
Taiwan has put its military on alert and staged civil defense drills, but the overall mood remained calm on Friday. Flights have been canceled or diverted and fishermen have remained in port to avoid the Chinese drills.