“After China’s actions overnight, we summoned PRC Ambassador Chen Gang to the White House to discuss the PRC’s provocative actions. We condemned the actions of the People’s Republic of China,” John Kirby, the National Security Council’s Coordinator for Strategic Communications, said in a statement to CNN. Military action by the People’s Republic of China, which is irresponsible and goes against our long-term goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
In the days following Pelosi’s departure from Taiwan, China took several hostile moves, both diplomatic and militarily.
On the diplomatic front, Beijing imposed sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family and said Friday it would suspend cooperation with Washington on several issues, including tackling the climate crisis.
The pause in US-China climate talks is emblematic of the two countries’ bilateral relations, with the climate crisis being one of the few areas on which the US and China have continued to work together on in recent years, even amid heightened geopolitical tensions.
The United States and China announced a bilateral agreement to work together on the climate crisis in Glasgow last year, which is widely seen as a progressive move that would allow China to work on key issues – such as reducing methane emissions – without joining global agreements that have shown resistance. for its existence. to me. Climate representatives in the countries have been in regular contact to build on this agreement.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Chinese warships and planes were conducting exercises in the waters around the island and that Chinese forces crossed the center line – halfway between the island and mainland China – in what the ministry called a “very provocative act”.
Two Chinese drones flew near Japan on Thursday, prompting the country’s Air Self-Defense Forces to launch fighter jets in response, according to a statement from the Defense Ministry in Tokyo.
Kirby said that the White House told Chen that the United States did not want a crisis in the region, and stressed that there had been no change in the US “one China” policy and that Washington recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government it recognizes. China.
“We have also made clear that the United States is ready for whatever Beijing decides. We will not seek or want a crisis. At the same time, we will not back down from acting in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, in accordance with international law, as we have done for decades – supporting Taiwan and defending Taiwan.” Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” Kirby said in the statement.
According to a source familiar with the matter, National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell met with Chen.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters on Friday that the United States had repeatedly told China “we are not seeking and will not cause a crisis.” He described China’s recent actions as “provocative” and “a significant escalation.”
The spokesman’s visit was “peaceful” and “there is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalating military response.”
Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the visit – the first time a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years – was to “make absolutely clear” that the US “will not give up” on Taipei. .
This came at a low point in US-China relations and despite the Biden administration’s warnings against visiting the Democratic-ruled island.
The United States maintains close informal relations with Taiwan and is legally obligated to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons. But it remains deliberately ambiguous about whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity.”
The United States postponed a long-planned missile test due to China’s angry response to Pelosi’s trip. A US official told CNN that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the Department of Defense to postpone a test flight of an unarmed Minuteman III missile after China began military exercises.
A senior official with the Chinese Embassy in Washington said Friday that Chen “totally rejected” the White House’s alleged condemnation of military operations across the Strait when he was summoned.
“The only way out of this crisis is for the US side to take immediate measures to correct its mistakes and remove the dangerous impact of Pelosi’s visit,” Minister Jing Quan said during a virtual briefing.
Jing reiterated that China considers Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan a “serious violation of the one-China policy.” He said they consider the legislator’s trip an official visit to the US government, noting that Pelosi flew on a US government plane. The use of government aircraft is a standard for congressional delegations, particularly the Speaker of the House, who occupies the top of the ladder of presidential succession.
He said Pelosi “knows where China’s red lines are” but said she “still consciously chooses to provoke and challenge China’s position.”
Kirby responded to Chen on Friday, saying, “There is nothing the United States is correcting here – the Chinese can go a long way to easing tensions simply by stopping these provocative military exercises and ending the rhetoric.”
We don’t want a crisis. “We’re not looking for a crisis,” Kirby said in response to a question from CNN’s MJ Lee.
He told reporters that the United States had condemned the sanctions imposed by China on Pelosi and her family, saying it was “unjustified” and claiming the spokesman had “every right to leave.”
This story has been updated with additional information.