US envoy summoned, America warned of 'paying price': China angered by Pelosi's Taiwan triptext_fields
Beijing: China has summoned the US ambassador to register strong protest over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei, warning that Washington will "pay a price" for its "mistakes" and asking it to stop using the Taiwan issue to contain China in any form. China, angered by Pelosi's visit to Taipei, also conducted live-fire missile exercises in the Taiwan Strait and flew several Chinese fighter jets near Taiwan airspace.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng "urgently summoned" Nicholas Burns, the U.S. Ambassador to China late Tuesday night to express strong representation and protest against Pelosi's visit, the highest-level visit by a U.S. leader to Taipei in 25 years. China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day be united with them. Beijing has not ruled out the possibility of using force to reunite the self-ruled island with the mainland.
Noting that the US side will "pay the price" for its "mistakes" for going ahead with the visit despite stern warnings from Beijing, Xie urged the US to take practical measures to eliminate the negative effects of Pelosi's visit and immediately correct the mistakes of the US, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The US should not go further down the wrong path, which could make the situation across the Taiwan Strait and China-US relations irresolvable and increase tensions, Xie said.
He added that the United States should stop playing the "Taiwan card," stop using Taiwan to contain China in any form and stop interfering in China's internal affairs.
Xie stated that Pelosi was likely to face universal condemnation for deliberately creating provocation and playing with fire, saying it was a serious violation of the one-China Principle and the three China-US Joint Communiqués. "The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious. China will not sit idly by," Xie said.
He said the visit seriously affects the political foundation of China-US relations, seriously violates China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence".
Xie said the US government must be held accountable as it says one thing and does another constantly distorting and hollowing out the one-China principle. "The US has deleted key expressions such as Taiwan is part of China from the State Department website, put Taiwan in its so-called 'Indo-Pacific strategy, openly upgraded its ties with Taiwan and increased arms sales to the region and supported separatist activities for 'Taiwan independence'," he said.
After arriving in Taipei, Pelosi said that the US delegation's visit "honours America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy." "Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan - and it in no way contradicts long-standing United States policy," she said. "By travelling to Taiwan, we honour our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan - and all democracies - must be respected." The 82-year-old top Democratic Party leader said that her "visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific."
Referring to recent phone conversations between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Joe Biden, Xie said the US government has indulged rather than intervene in Pelosi's deliberate act, which escalated tensions across the Taiwan Strait and seriously weakened the China-US relationships.
Without supporting "Taiwan independence," Washington should take strong measures to observe the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués; not look for conflict with China and do not go further down the wrong and dangerous path, Xie noted.
He stressed that the trend of the times cannot be reversed, the will of the people is not to be defied, and those who play with fire will perish by it. "Taiwan is China's Taiwan, and Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland. Chinese people are not afraid of ghosts, pressure and evil," Xie said.
In the minds of the Chinese people, nothing is more sacred than safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and nothing is more important than safeguarding and realizing national reunification, he said.
Ambassador Xie told Burns that no country, no power, and no individual should ever underestimate the firm determination, strong will, and great ability of the Chinese government and people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and achieve national reunification and revitalization.
Besides the harangue from Xie to Burns, there is a deluge of statements from Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Defence Ministry spokesman — all harping on China's redline over Taiwan, which Beijing claims is part of the Chinese mainland.
As Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday night, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched "massive military drills" around the island of Taiwan, including a long-range live fire drill in the Taiwan Straits and a live fire conventional missile drill to the east of the island, with analysts saying China is eyeing the anti-secession campaign against Taiwan authorities and is to concretely speed up the reunification process, the state-run Global Times reported.
The PLA will also conduct a series of live-fire military drills from August 4 to 7 in six different areas that encircle the island of Taiwan from all directions, after Pelosi landed at the Taipei airport, Xinhua news agency reported. Chinese analysts said there are many options on the table for China to speed up the reunification process. Apart from military drills, the options could include striking Taiwan military targets, just as the PLA did in the previous Taiwan Straits crisis.
China may pass a new law for national reunification that would send military planes and ships to enter the island's 'airspace' and 'water areas' controlled by Taiwanese authorities and end a tacit ceasefire with Taiwan's military, the Global Times report said.
With PTI inputs