The US House speaker’s visit to Taipei will not change China’s path to reunification, Beijing says
China’s foreign minister has denounced the US House speaker’s trip to Taiwan as a “complete farce,” warning those who provoke Beijing will face the consequences.
During a trip to Cambodia on Wednesday, Wang Yi accused the US of “playing dirty tricks to encroach upon China’s sovereignty under the guise of democracy,” adding that that Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei will not change the One-China principle or “the irreversible historical trend of Taiwan’s return to the motherland.”
Wang went on to warn: “Those who play with fire will not come to a good end. Those who offend China will surely be punished.”
China considers Taiwan, which has been ruled by a separate government since the late 1940s, part of its own territory and opposes any form of diplomatic recognition of the island as an independent nation.
Despite stern warnings from Beijing, Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years. She met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials.
“I led a Congressional delegation to Taiwan to make [it] crystal clear that America stands with the people of Taiwan,” the House of Representatives speaker tweeted on Wednesday.
China responded to the trip by staging snap military drills around the island. Chinese state media described the maneuvers as a rehearsal of a “reunification operation,” which was said to involve jet fighters and hypersonic missiles.
The Group of Seven (G7), which consists of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, released a statement on Wednesday, condemning the Chinese exercise.
“There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally,” the statement, which was also co-signed by the EU, said.
The US and China have long accused each other of destabilizing activities around Taiwan and the larger Indo-Pacific region. Beijing has opposed Washington’s arms sales to Taipei, while the US has accused China of intimidating the island’s government.