China on Friday suspended all cooperation with the United States on global warming and other areas, sinking relations between the two countries to their lowest level in years, in retaliation for the visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
After the military response, China is also responding in the diplomatic field. The Chinese government announced on Friday, August 5, to suspend “Sino-American negotiations on climate change”, as well as on other files, in response to the visit to Taiwan of the speaker of the American House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. , arrival on the island on Tuesday August 2nd. Relations between the world’s two largest economies have reached their lowest level in years.
Mobilizing planes and warships, the largest military exercises ever organized by China near Taiwan, also in reaction to the trip of the American official this week, continued on Friday for the second day in a row. Taipei then castigated its “malicious neighbor”, whose maneuvers literally surrounded it for three days.
Beijing will “suspend China-US climate change negotiations” and cancel a talk between military leaders as well as two meetings on security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said. The latter accusing Nancy Pelosi of having treated with “contempt” the opposition of China to his visit to Taipei.
China and the United States, the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, struck a surprise climate deal at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year. They pledged to work together to accelerate climate action over the next decade and to meet regularly to “address the climate crisis”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said it was suspending cooperation with Washington on the repatriation of illegal migrants, as well as on justice, transnational crime and the fight against drugs.
Mainland China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, perceived the visit of the third figure of the American federal state as a major provocation. Nancy Pelosi has “seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs and undermined its sovereignty and territorial integrity”, denounced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announcing “impose sanctions” against her and her “close family “, without giving details.
Washington for its part accused the Chinese government of overreacting.
The military exercises must continue until Sunday, August 7 noon.
Visible military ships, the median line crossed
According to Taipei, as of 5 p.m. Friday (9 a.m. GMT, 11 a.m. Paris time), a total of 68 Chinese aircraft and 13 warships had crossed the “median line” of the Taiwan Strait since the start of the day, that separates the island from the mainland.
The day before, Beijing had already fired a dozen ballistic missiles and deployed its air force and navy in the six maritime zones chosen for the maneuvers all around Taiwan, approaching up to 20 km from the coast and disrupting trade routes among the busiest in the world.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV claimed that missiles even flew over Taiwan for the first time. Taipei has not confirmed.
“We never expected our malevolent neighbor to flaunt his power at our doorstep, and arbitrarily endanger the world’s busiest waterways with his military exercises,” Taiwan’s prime minister told reporters. Su Tseng-chang.
In Pingtan, a Chinese island located not far from the maneuvers in progress, AFP journalists saw a fighter plane in the sky at midday on Friday. Carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching sun, tourists tried to take pictures of the device while in the distance, in the Taiwan Strait, a Chinese military ship was seen.
“Our country is powerful”, but Beijing does not want “war”
“We hope that we can reunite with Taiwan soon. We are not afraid of anyone, our country is powerful,” one of them, Mr. Liu, 40, from Taiwan, told AFP. Zhejiang province (east).
Not far from him, Ms. Wang, dressed in yellow, agreed: “I hope China can reintegrate Taiwan soon, but I don’t want a war. I hope this issue can be settled peacefully, because we the Chinese, we are friendly”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken slammed the Chinese maneuvers as “provocations” that represent “a significant escalation” of tensions in the eyes of the United States.
Japan expressed a formal diplomatic protest against Beijing, believing that five of the Chinese missiles fell inside its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). “We call for the immediate cessation of military exercises,” said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
In Tokyo, the last leg of her eventful Asian tour, Nancy Pelosi said the United States “will not allow” China to isolate Taiwan, assuring that her trip “was not intended to change the status quo here in Asia, change the status quo in Taiwan”.
The Chinese maneuvers encroach on some of the busiest shipping routes on the planet, through which essential electronic equipment from factories in East Asia is shipped to global markets.
The Taiwan Maritime and Port Bureau has warned ships passing through this area and several international airlines have told AFP that they are diverting their flights to avoid the airspace around the island.
Analysts agree that, despite these military exercises, Beijing does not want an armed confrontation for the time being. “The last thing Xi wants is the outbreak of an accidental war,” Titus Chen, associate professor of political science at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, told AFP.